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US Embassy celebrates human rights relations, Malin says ‘not the time’

Sar Socheath / Khmer Times Share:
US Ambassador Patrick Murphy (C) with the UN’s resident coordinator in Cambodia, Pauline Tamesis (L). US Embassy

The US Embassy in Phnom Penh has celebrated US-Cambodia relations on democracy and human rights to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations, but a senior Cambodian official has said it is the wrong time to celebrate.

On Monday, the US Embassy released a short message and a two-minute video clip of Cambodian people talking about human rights and democracy.

“It’s December and we are celebrating ties in the area of democracy and human rights, a part of our year-long commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cambodia,” an embassy statement said.

However, Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said such a campaign should not be run in these circumstances as the government is worryingly battling COVID-19 community transmission.

“The campaign is good, but it is celebrating in the wrong circumstance,” Malin said on Monday on his Facebook.

Malin said: “The US Embassy and other national and international organisations should join hands with the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

He said that measures to prevent community transmission are the most important thing to focus on in relations to the human right to life.

“The right to life is more important than any other right in this circumstance and if it is not guaranteed and protected, other rights will not exist and have no value”, he added.

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