In his speech to the 60th UN General Assembly on September 15, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said democracy has taken strong hold in Cambodia and that Cambodians' human rights are fully protected. However the opposition party and human rights groups in Cambodia disagree.
Speaking with VOA by phone from Paris, France, the opposition party president Sam Rainsy said no one would believe Hun Sen's words. Sam Rainsy said the world knows that there is a dictatorship in Cambodia, there's extra-judicial killings in Cambodia, and there's human rights violations in Cambodia.
President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) Kem Sokha admitted democracy has started in Cambodia but has not taken such strong hold as the prime minister has claimed. In regards to the respect for human rights the CCHR president disagreed with the prime minster that Cambodians' human rights are fully respected or protected.
ADHOC President Thun Saray admitted there's democracy in Cambodia but said it's declining in recent years. He said he has noticed the ruling parties are exerting pressures on the opposition party.
The ADHOC president said ideally in order to have a strong democracy there must be an opposition party that can operate freely. Thun Saray said the human rights situation is improving gradually because he said more and more Cambodians start to understand their rights. However, he said the rights to peaceful protest and the rights to have a piece of land to live on are getting worse as the authorities use force to crack down on protesters and to grab lands.