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UN Human Rights Envoy to Visit Cambodia

The UN secretary-general's human rights representative to Cambodia, Yash Ghai, who publicly denounced Cambodia's rights commitment last year and ignited a vociferous response from the prime minister, is scheduled to visit the country next week, officials said Friday.

On a previous visit in March 2006, Ghai said too much power in Cambodia resided in one man, and the government was not committed to human rights.

Prime Minister Hun Sen responded by calling Ghai "deranged," demanding the envoy's sacking and claiming he would never meet with him, the BBC reported at the time. Hun Sen then called UN workers in Cambodia "long-term tourists," the BBC reported.

A UN official said Friday Ghai will visit from May 29 to May 31, to discuss recommendations of the UN's human rights council on Cambodia and to receive updates on the rights situation in the country.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has requested to meet with Ghai, in an effort to retain the UN's office for human rights in the country.