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The World Bank Reacts to Cambodian Activists Arrests

A big doner country representative for Cambodia, from the World Bank says the Cambodian government should be cautious in the arrests of human rights activists, the media, the opposition, and other independent activists, because the government promises to have an open and democratic society, according to the World Bank press release Monday.

At least five activists have been arrested for defamation charges. These arrests prompt the international community to react and put strong pressure on the Cambodian government.

World Bank Country Director Ian Porter said that it is worried about the arrests and the charges and asks the government to reconsider its charges since it promises to promote an open society.

The World Bank provided Cambodia with almost 600 million dollars in loans and grants, and Mr. Porter said that Cambodia's detention of outspokent activists sends a worrying message to investors.

He said that the arrests of the opposition, and some activists and use the criminal code against the expression of opinion contrary to the government policies make the prospective investorsfeel feel uneasy.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith cannot be reached for comment. Prime Minister senior adviser Om Yentient cannot be reached for comment either.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Khieu Thavika says that the Cambodian government is elected by popular vote so it is acting in the people's interests.

The donor countries did not comment on the ties between the aids and the government action.