HRW: Cambodian government covering hundreds of political murders
(AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Cambodian government guaranteed impunity to
"hundreds of politically motivated killings", tolerated if not
encouraged by the iron fist policy adopted by Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power
for nearly 30 years, even in the bloody regime of the Khmer Rouge. According
to the findings of a report by Human
Rights Watch (HRW), an international organization based in New York, there
have been more than 300 people killed over the past 20 years in murders
motivated by political aims and interests. In
addition, None of the
cases resulted in a credible investigation and conviction and instead, the
perpetrators were protected by sources close to the executive of Phnom Penh.
Brad Adams, HRW deputy director for Asia and co-author of the report, said that " Instead of prosecuting officials responsible for killings and other serious abuses, Prime Minister Hun Sen has promoted and rewarded them." The document entitled "Tell them I want to kill them," reveals numerous and detailed cases of political killings and other violence committed since the Paris Peace Accords of 1991, which put an end to violence between various factions that have marked the years following the fall of the dictator Pol Pot
The report is the result of numerous interviews with government officials, members of the armed forces, police, judges, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, trade unionists, journalists and human rights activists.
Phnom Penh rejects the accusations by Human Rights Watch, defending the actions of government leaders, respect for human rights and due process. In June, Cambodian Minister Kao Kim Hourn dismissed as a "misconception" the notion that the country nurtures impunity.
Still on the subject of human rights violations, the problem of political assassinations is added to the forced expropriation of land and property from farmers. In recent days, more than 100 people demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, to raise awareness in the U.S. government ahead of the (historical) visit of President Barack Obama - fresh from re-election - to Cambodia and Myanmar. For experts issues related to land are also one of the key problems of the Asian nation, which risks a return to violence if the government does not enact concrete reforms, including electoral reform for a "free and fair" vote.