Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign Ministry strikes back at Subedi remarks

Foreign Ministry strikes back at Subedi remarks

Foreign Ministry strikes back at Subedi remarks

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong yesterday defended the independence of Cambodia’s judiciary following concerns raised by a UN official about the whirlwind imprisonment of 11 activists arrested for protesting last week.

Kuong accused Surya Subedi, the UN's special rapporteur for human rights, of making a habit of wrongly characterising normal court decisions as rights violations, following a statement Subedi released Tuesday.

“Professor Subedi has always urged Cambodia to follow the rule of law and for the judiciary to be independent,” Kuong told reporters. “But every time the court does its work, [Subedi] condemns it as a human rights or freedom of speech violation.”

The court had its “own procedures”, Kuong added, and made decisions that ensured “those who commit the crimes receive the penalties”.

Subedi’s office released a statement Tuesday accusing the government of judicial harassment for political purposes.

The government, he said, needed to “respect the law and the principle of judicial independence”, while the judiciary should carry out its work independent of outside influence.

“It saddens me to see the courts being used again and again as a tool of the executive,” Subedi said.

His words were in response to 10 land activists and one monk being sentenced to a year in prison little more than 24 hours after their arrests at two protests in Phnom Penh last week.

“The timing in which these individuals were arrested, charged and convicted seem to be all well calculated,” he said. He also raised concerns about charges brought against 17 opposition members over violence in Freedom Park in July.

The treatment of the 11 and the arrest of two other monks in Phnom Penh last Wednesday has drawn heavy criticism.

Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Mu Sochua said yesterday that Phnom Penh Municipal Court had granted her and five other opposition lawmakers permission to visit the activists in Prey Sar prison.

“We will tell them that we support them and stand for them as elected representatives,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency