Cambodia’s human rights record remains poor, the US said in an annual report Wednesday, but a senior government official said the situation was improving.
The US State Department’s 2008 “Human Rights Report” cites security forces that act with impunity, the abuse of detainees, forced evictions, endemic corruption, a weak judiciary and the denial of rights to fair trial as reasons for the poor rating.
However, Om Yentieng, a senior government adviser and head of Cambodia’s Human Rights Commission, told VOA Khmer that Cambodian rights situation was progressing year by year.
This year was better than last year, but the government continued to make improvements, he said.
The US report had the same findings as Adhoc, according to an investigator for the rights group, Chan Saveth. The government has so far failed to show commitment to human rights, he told VOA Khmer.
“The Cambodian government should take action against human rights abuses,” he said.
Am Sam Arth, an investigator for the rights group Licadho, said 17 cases of extrajudicial killing in 2008 proved the rights situation had not progressed.
Corruption and a biased judiciary supporting the powerful meant the loss of rights for the impoverished, he said.