Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Did Hun Sen violate the Constitution?



Did Hun Sen violate the Constitution?

Did Hun Sen violate the Constitution?

Editor,

I read with serious concern your report PM’s texts unnerved opposition ahead of National Assembly return: lawmakers, in the Phnom Penh Post of October 10, 2016, in which it is alleged that Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened “bloodshed” if protests confronted his eldest son in Australia, adding that the premier had cited “seemingly intercepted correspondence from an activist in Melbourne and party spokesman Yim Sovann”.

If this report is accurate, the intercept of parliamentarians’ correspondence is a serious violation of human rights which are inscribed in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia of 1993. It is also a violation of the freedom of expression and of privileged correspondence of a member of the National Assembly.

At the outset, the question that suggests itself is: How can the legal and elected opposition, which represents thousands of Cambodians, properly operate in such environment of threats, interception of their electronic correspondence and complete lack of facilities which most legal oppositions in so-called multiparty democracies accept for granted?

I was the Cambodia National Rescue Party activist in Melbourne who contacted Mr Yim Sovann asking him whether it was appropriate for CNRP members to organise the demonstration or not. In Australia, peaceful demonstrations are a right of all citizens, they are absolutely legal and do not require permission from the authorities.

The answer from Mr Yim Sovann was that “the demonstration does not reflect the present political stance of the party”. Upon reception of that message, the CNRP did not participate in the demonstration earning the recriminations of the organiser of the demonstration, Mr Hong Lim, a member of the Legislative Council (Senate) of the State of Victoria in Australia, who has been very outspoken against the state of affairs in Cambodia.

As a Cambodian-Australian, who wishes the best for his country, with a truly democratic society and institutions, a transparent government and the rule of the law, I urge Prime Minister Samdech Decho Hun Sen to stop behaving like an autocrat and to stop intercepting the correspondence of the legally elected opposition and allow them to represent the people of Cambodia in the National Assembly.

Socheat Yun
CNRP Working Group president in Melbourne

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished