The Cambodian government roundly dismissed a recent report on human rights in the country that accused 12 top military generals of propping up the Hun Sen regime with a mixture of violence and corruption.
But Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), which published the report titled “Cambodia’s Dirty Dozen: A Long History of Rights Abuses By Hun Sen’s Generals”, this week defended the report’s findings.
He told VOA the report was based purely on historical facts, which the Cambodian authorities had not challenged with any counter-evidence, adding that Hun Sen should produce evidence to support his claim that his generals were “clean”.
“This is extremely well documented in that report of 200 pages and I challenge Hun Sen to show where it is inaccurate. We can add more examples of human rights abuses by these 12 people and by Hun Sen himself and by many, many, many other generals in the military,” he said.
The report alleged that the 12 security officers formed the backbone of Hun Sen’s “abusive and authoritarian political regime” and had “demonstrated a willingness to commit rights abuses on behalf of Hun Sen.”
Speaking on Monday, Hun Sen mocked Adams.
“I would like to say to Brad Adams that you accused only 12 generals in Cambodia, which is too small a number. Please accuse them all. That would be enough because not only 12 generals are loyal to Hun Sen, loyal to the government. The generals around the country said it is not enough. They ask you to include all 110,000 military personnel,” he said.
Sok Eysan, ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman, said the pro-Hun Sen military officers were not guilty of crimes against humanity. “I think that Brad Adams is a crime against humanity,” he said.
The United States earlier this month placed sanctions on Hing Bun Hieng, the head of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, for his alleged history of human rights abuses.