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Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill Met with Kem Sokha

The U.S. State Department says American diplomat Christopher Hill has met with a prominent Cambodian human rights activist.

The State Department said Mr. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, met Tuesday with Kem Sokha, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). Thursday's statement said the men discussed recent developments in Cambodia including challenges to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as well as concerns over growing political intimidation.

The State Department said Mr. Hill expressed support for Mr. Kem's work to promote Cambodian democracy and rule of law.

Kem Sokha was a member of the Cambodian parliament before founding the Cambodian Center for Human Rights in 2002.

Ms. Chea Vannath, president of the Center for Social Development, said that the Cambodian government puts a grip on the freedom of expression, and that the government must reform. She said that the push for freedom and democracy in Cambodia is still weak, and she supports the US's efforts to help.

Mr. Om Yintieng, Prime Minister Hun Sen's senior advisor, and chairman of the government's human rights committee, said Cambodia always supports all activities that relate to freedom and democracy .

However, Om Yintieng questioned if Kem Sokha is genuine what's he is doing or is just using CCHR to cover other motives that the United States does know.