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U.S. COURT CASES BEING PREPARED ON ASSASSINATIONS CARRIED OUT BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN CAMBODIA

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បញ្ជាក់៖បើហ៊ុន សែន ហ៊ានឈាន ជើងមកអាមេរិកនិងអឺរ៉ុបខ្ញុំហ៊ានភ្នាល់… បើមិនដូច្នេះទេ ហ៊ុន សែន និងសន្លប់ក្នុងជណ្តើរយន្តដូចកាល២០០៥នៅ ញូយ៉ក។

November 18, 2012
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The report just released by Human Rights Watch, “Tell Them That I Wantto Kill Them — Two Decades of Impunity in Hun Sen’s Cambodia,”describes more than 300 extra-judicial executions of politicalopponents, human rights activists and labor leaders by top Cambodian government officials and their associates over the past twenty years,as a means to stifle political opposition and to retain power. Thisreport could not come at a more perfect time. Tomorrow PresidentObama is scheduled to make the first visit by a sitting U.S. presidentto Cambodia, and it is urgent that during this visit he bringattention to the long-standing policy of the current Cambodiangovernment to engage in major human rights abuses, while preventingthe country’s law enforcement authorities and courts from acting tosecure justice for these crimes.

To bring further attention to these ongoing problems in association with President Obama’s historic visit to Cambodia, I wish to announce plans elaborated with my American lawyer in Washington D.C. to prepare court cases to be brought before the United States courts against the perpetrators of these assassinations identified in the Human Rights Watch report. These cases will be filed if and when any of these perpetrators come to the United States. A similar case along these
lines was successfully brought in Federal District Court in New York City against Prime Minister Hun Sen himself in 2005 for his role in using his private guard unit to carry out a grenade attack against a meeting of political opposition groups that resulted in the death and injury of many participants, and the wounding of a U.S. citizen observing the demonstration. The case was temporarily settled when Mr. Hun Sen agreed to free a number of political prisoners and permit my return to Cambodia after a year of forced exile following my prosecution by a local court on politically motivated charges.

The preparation of these court actions will provide a means for obtaining justice against major human rights abusers in Cambodia, who until now have been cloaked with impunity because the Cambodian government would not allow law enforcement authorities and the courts to prosecute them.

These major human rights abusers now must be mindful that they have been identified by the international community, and will be subject to justice if they leave Cambodia. Even the prime minister himself would be subject to court action in the U.S. once again, as soon as he leaves office and can no longer claim head of state immunity status.

In conjunction with President Obama’s visit to Cambodia, and the issuance of the new Human Rights Watch report, the preparation of these court cases will make clear that the prevailing policy of the
Cambodian government of providing impunity from prosecution in Cambodia to major human rights abusers must end, and that no one whocarries out or facilitates these crimes, even those at the highestlevels of government, will be able to escape justice and internationalcondemnation. The systemic human rights abuses of the present PhnomPenh government, and their policy of repression of the political opposition, must stop if true democracy is to be realized in Cambodia by the time when national elections are held in 2013.

Sam Rainsy
Cambodia’s Opposition leader
Email: samrainsysrp@gmail.com

Written by Kolbot Khmer

November 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm

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