Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign ministry spokesman disputes ‘biased’ human rights report

Foreign ministry spokesman disputes ‘biased’ human rights report

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chem Widhya (centre right), Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation meets with Vitit Muntarbhorn (centre left), Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia on August 25. MFAIC

Foreign ministry spokesman disputes ‘biased’ human rights report

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Chum Sounry expressed his ‘utter dismay’ at the statement by Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia who ended his mission to the Kingdom and released his statement on August 26.

The reaction came following his release of a 10-point human rights agenda to improve the human rights situation in Cambodia. In his 7-page conclusion report – written after his first visit to the country – he urged opening up civil and political space and paving the way for democratic reform.

“Cambodia is faced with a pervasive paradox. Since 2017, when the main opposition party was disbanded unjustly by judicial order, the country has effectively been under single-party rule, with all seats of the National Assembly in the hands of that monopoly,” Muntarbhorn said.

Chounsry said in an August 26 press statement that following his 11-day visit to Cambodia, Vitit had ‘very limited recognition of the progress and achievements Cambodia has realised’.

He said the special rapporteur’s statement remains largely biased, prejudiced, and unfounded on a number of issues.

“It is with deep regret that despite the government’s repeated calls, the Special Rapporteur has continued to fail to address a worrying trend of human rights challenges that Cambodia is encountering, namely hate speech, slander, disinformation, incitement of xenophobia, and provocation to sedition under the guise of freedom of expression, all of which the rapporteur remains astonishingly silent on,” the spokesman said.

He added that Cambodia remains committed to working with all partners to promote and protect human rights for all within the rule of law, and to pursue its irreversible democratic journey with pluralism. This was especially true of next year’s national elections, which would be transparent, free and fair, he said.


  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.