US Urges Cambodia to Respect ‘Shared Principles’ of Human Rights and Democracy

The United States continues to urge the Cambodian government to open democratic space for citizens to help the country toward a development path of durable democracy and respect for human rights, US officials say.

Recent communications between the US and Cambodia come amid the government’s current and escalating clampdown on dissent, worsening a brazen political crackdown in 2017 against the main opposition party, civil society and independent media.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Robert A. Destro said in a Twitter post in September that the US was “deeply concerned” about a recent batch of detentions. He urged Cambodia to release those arrested for exercising freedom of expression and association.

US Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy indicated the arrest of longtime civil society and labor leader Rong Chhun caught the attention of US officials.

Say Mony/VOA Khmer