WASHINGTON DC —
A group of Cambodian-Americans plans to file a criminal complaint at the International Criminal Court against Prime Minister Hun Sen and senior officials, accusing them of human rights violations and obstructing justice for the victims of the Khmer Rouge.
The complaint will be submitted to the international court by the end of January, according to Morton Sklar, a US attorney representing a coalition of Cambodian human rights and democracy advocates. The court will then have two months to decide whether the case falls under its jurisdiction, he said.
“What we decided to do, because of recent events concerning the election in July 2013, is to make clear that Hun Sen’s involvement with the genocide problem and crimes against humanity deserves to be brought before the international criminal court now,” Morton Sklar told VOA Khmer. “The activities he engaged in during the election was the last straw and requires very immediate action.”
Opposition supporters say July’s election was marred by irregularities and fraud, costing the Cambodia National Rescue Party a win at the polls. The opposition has refused to join the government and is calling for a recall election.
Pro-opposition demonstrations, meanwhile, have continued, despite violent clashes with police and elite security forces in recent weeks.
Those crackdowns, in which at least four people were killed and dozens injured, are part of the complaint, Sklar told VOA Khmer.
Along with that is the alleged obstruction by Hun Sen and other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party of the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal. Sklar said this “amounts to complicity in the genocide that the Khmer Rouge tribunal is trying to prosecute.”
The US complaint will coincide with a complaint to be filed by the Rescue Party. Government officials have repeatedly dismissed the allegations and say they will not pay attention to the cases if they are brought before the court.
In testimony before the UN Human Rights Council last week, Mak Sambath, vice chairman of Cambodia’s Human Rights Committee, denied government involvement in the tribunal. He also defended the crackdown on demonstrating workers.
“They protested until 2 am and had stones and sticks to stir problems and clash with authorities,” he said. “We give them rights, but they have to exercise their rights so as not to affect the lives of other people.”