PHNOM PENH —
An Australian senator wants to see a resolution censuring Cambodia for recent political attacks on the opposition.
Sen. Scott Ludlam says the arrest warrant issued for Sam Rainsy, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, and his subsequent removal from the National Assembly, should be condemned by the Australian parliament.
The actions against Sam Rainsy and the Rescue Party have garnered international condemnation, including from the UN Secretary-General and the US State Department, as well as warnings the country could slide into political violence.
Officials from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party have said the arrest warrant, issued in connection to a criminal defamation suit from Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, is not political. Sam Rainsy, meanwhile, remains abroad, facing fines and jail time in the suit, which stems from a 2008 speech he gave accusing Hor Namhong of collusion with the Khmer Rouge.
Ludlum told Australian lawmakers they should pass a resolution recognizing the current acts representing an “extremely bad sign for democracy in Cambodia.”