Congressman Lowenthal Condemns Arrests Of Youth Activists In Cambodia By Hun Sen Regime

September 16, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today, issued the following statement on the recent arrests of more than a dozen Cambodian activists by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen:

“I have, and will continue to, condemn the Hun Sen government’s arbitrary arrests of activists and dissenters. This latest round of arrests is yet another assault on the democracy promised to all Cambodian people in their Constitution—a Constitution that Hun Sen not only signed but took an oath to uphold.

“But more directly, this is an assault on the young people of Cambodia who are practicing political engagement and civic activism out of love for their country. Instead of allowing the next generation to take part in and shape Cambodia’s future, Hun Sen and his regime continue their heavy-handed suppression of any voices that hint at opposition in order to cling to the power they have.

“It is unconscionable that Hun Sen and members of his regime continue to use deceitful and un-democratic tactics to arrest Cambodian citizens for simply encouraging young people to engage in their country’s political process by seeking to freely express themselves. Criticism of the government, freedom of expression, and basic human rights are all inherent necessities for a healthy democracy.

“These activists should be celebrated, not imprisoned. They are the future of Cambodia. Hun Sen and his regime’s aggressive tactics to suppress these voices are simply because they are afraid to listen to the true voice of the Cambodian people, and even more afraid of what they might hear.

“These are the same types of actions that have led Hun Sen and his regime to face sanctions and recriminations from countries around the globe, just as he will continue to face such repudiation by continuing to do so. Hun Sen needs to decide whether his own grasp on power is more important than Cambodia’s role as a member of the international community.”