Former Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen at the World Economic Forum

Hun Sen’s Government Pushes Back Against EU Threat to Withhold Funds from Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government dismissed the European Parliament’s threat to withhold millions of Euros in development funding unless the government releases the Kem Sokha Five detained activists and rescinds an arrest warrant for opposition party leader Sam Rainsy.

On Friday Sok Eysan, a spokesman the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), dismissed the EU resolution saying the legal entanglements of the human rights workers and Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) officials were the fault of those involved and not the CPP or the Cambodian government.

“We cannot use the EU law,” he told RFA’s Khmer Service. “It is not right because Cambodia is an independent and sovereign state with its own constitution that was born from the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in Cambodia that organized the election to establish the constitution, set up the royal government and recognized Cambodia as an independent and sovereign state.”

Sok Eysan had a day earlier dismissed the head of the U.N. as having no knowledge of Cambodian affairs after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also appealed for an end to Hun Sen’s crackdown on the opposition. He did not explain the discrepancy in his views.

UNTAC ran from 1992–93. It was established in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge and civil war to restore order and safeguard human rights. UNTAC also marked the first occasion in which the UN took over the administration of an independent state, ran an election instead of monitoring or supervising one and was responsible for promoting and safeguarding human rights at the national level.

The European Parliament’s resolution approved on Thursday is the strongest condemnation to date of the political crisis inside Cambodia.

The resolution calls for the release of four employees of the human rights organization ADHOC and a National Election Committee member who were jailed on bribery or accessory charges after being accused of attempting to pay hush money to the alleged mistress of CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha. An arrest warrant has also been issued for a U.N. worker in connection with the case.

Kem Sokha is currently holed up inside CNRP headquarters after heavily armed police attempted to arrest him for refusing to appear in court as a witness in cases connected with his alleged affair with a young hairdresser named Khom Chandaraty.

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Reported by Yeang Sothearin, Sok Ratha, Yeang Sothearin and Ieng Neang for RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Yanny Hin. Written in English by Brooks Boliek.

Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.


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