Don’t meddle in Cambodia’s internal affairs, US told

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. KT/Mai Vireak

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman has called on the US State Department to respect the Kingdom’s laws, saying that it should not meddle in Cambodia’s internal affairs.

The spokesman’s reaction came as the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday released a video clip, in which US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus had called for the release of former opposition leader Kem Sokha.

In the video, Ms Ortagus said that the Cambodian government has not yet tried Mr Sokha or produced any credible evidence to back up its claims, which were used to dissolve the CNRP and also removed more than 5,000 elected commune councilors from office.

“Such action undermined multi-party democracy, which was enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution,” she said. “The United States again calls on the Cambodian government to drop all charges against Kem Sokha and restore his civil and political rights, and free all those arbitrarily detained.”

However, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr Sokha was already released for humanitarian reason to remain in the comfort of his home with his family under court surveillance since September 9, 2018.

“Cambodia urges foreign politicians and administrations to adhere to the rule based multilateralism and the basic norms governing international relations, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter, to respect Cambodia’s sovereignty and show utmost restraint from interfering in Cambodia’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy,” the statement said.

“The Cambodian government is within its sovereign rights to take the necessary legal measures against individuals and entities who violated the Cambodian Constitution and other laws currently in force in order to protect its national security and the rule of law,” it added.

Mr Sokha was arrested in September 2017 after authorities accused him of colluding with the United States to topple the government through a colour revolution.

In November 2017, the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP. Last year, Mr Sokha was released on bail from Tboung Khmum province’s Trapaing Phlong prison.

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