|UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Surya Subedi speaks to villagers in Pursat, Dec 10, 2012 [RFA]|
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: United Nations Human Rights Envoy to Cambodia Professor Surya P Subedi has received widespread international support, including from US President Barack Obama in his dealings with the Cambodian government.
During his Cambodia visit in November to attend the US-ASEAN summit meeting in Phnom Penh, President Obama called Cambodia’s lack of respect for fundamental freedoms an ‘impediment’ to a deeper relation between the two countries. He went on to say countries that do not uphold certain universal principles, such as respect for human rights, will have difficulty integrating with the international community.
Last week, the State Department in a letter sent on behalf of President Obama to a group of leading US Senators expressed concern about the situation of human rights in Cambodia. It stated that the US had called on the Cambodian government to pay heed to the recommendations of Prof Subedi.
Subedi, a Nepali by origin and a law professor at the Leeds University, UK, has been serving as the UN Human Rights Rapporteur for four years. He has already submitted four reports, voicing for sweeping reforms to ensure the independence of judiciary and free and fair elections in Cambodia.
Prof Subedi has receivedcriticism from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Censuring Prof Subedi, Sen said the professor better keep his idea to Nepal, his home country’s political mess rather than lecturing on Cambodia’s human rights record.
In a letter to THT, Subedi mentioned that European Parliament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Senates of Australia, and the Philippines have passed resolutions calling on the Cambodian Government to implement the recommendations made by him. In the letter, he also mentioned that the Cambodian main opposition party leader is in exile in Paris as he faces long prison sentence if he were to return to Phnom Penh.