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Cambodian Government Reacts to World Reactions on Activists Arrest


Cambodia reacts immediately to the international community's condemnation of her government's activist arrests in connection to a banner allegedly defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government.

A Cambodian high ranking official calls the international pressure a lack of deep understanding of Cambodia's internal affairs. Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith dismisses the international condemnation of Cambodia in a telephonic interview with VOA stringer and defends the government saying these countries do not follow the arrest, and thus blames the government for the arrest.

He says, but, what happens and a string of arrests, the government only files suit against two individuals.

When the Phnom Penh municipal court asks the two men some questions, the blames were put on Mr. Pa Nguon Teang, Cambodian Center for Human Rights's acting president, who was arrested at the Cambodian Laos border.

The court only summons them for questioning, Mr. Khieu says. He continues that whatever the international community wants to say, it says as it pleases, but it needs to try to understand if it wants to know the truth.

The U.S. government, the IRI, the Human Rights Watch, and the UNHCR recently made separate statements condemning and criticizing these arrests, and expressing concerns about the respect of human rights and the freedom of speech.

Human Rights Watch Asia director was quoted as saying that the Cambodian government appears to be following the Burmese model by imprisoning its critics.

Mr. Khieu says that in Cambodia the press is free, there are more than 2,000 NGOs, people still insult the government, there are multi parties right now, and that even Mr. Kem Sokha's Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) is still operating.

At least five activists were arrested and imprisoned.

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