The United States has sanctioned General Hing Bun Heang, commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit for his alleged involvement in human rights abuses, including a US citizen.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the statement on Tuesday, saying that it sanctioned Gen Bun Heang for his involvement in serious human rights abuse.
“General Bun Heang commanded a Cambodian unit that engaged in a series of human rights abuse ,and was personally implicated in attacks against a number of individuals, including a U.S citizen,” said Sigal Mandelker, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Gen Bun Hieng has been implicated in multiple attacks on unarmed Cambodians for many years, including in 2013 at Wat Phnom and in 2015 in front of the National Assembly, the statement said.
It said that in 2015 accident, only three members of the Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit were imprisoned after they confessed to participating in an attack on opposition CNRP lawmakers, Kong Saphea and Nhay Chamroeun.
It alleged that Gen Bun Heang and his bodyguard unit have been connected to incidents where military force was used to menace gatherings of protesters and the political opposition going back at least to 1997, including an incident where a US citizen received shrapnel wounds.
“As a result of these actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated today within US jurisdiction is blocked. Additionally, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons,” it said.
Gen Bun Heang flatly denied he committed human rights abuse and deposited money in the US.
“I think the United States has quickly blocked me, but I don’t have money in the bank [in the U.S]. I have only a stupa. I have built 12 temples, schools and irrigation system for our people,” Gen Bun Heang said.
“I have no money deposited in the US’s bank at all,” Gen Bun Heang said.