Congressmen Lowenthal and Chabot Denounce Cambodian Government Crackdown On Free Speech Outlets And NGOs

August 24, 2017
Press Release

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Steve Chabot (OH-01), the co-chairs of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, today issued the following joint statement on the recent expulsion of the non-governmental organization (NGO) National Democratic Institute by the Cambodian government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

"During its more than 30-year rule, the Hun Sen government has amassed a long history of attempting to silence its critics, both those inside and outside of Cambodia. The recent expulsion of the non-profit National Democratic Institute is only one more offense in a long series of efforts by the Hun Sen government specifically targeted at groups dedicated to free speech and transparency. Radio stations, NGOs, newspapers, and independent news outlets such as Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America, have all fallen into the Hun Sen regime's crosshairs. This pattern of constitutional abuse by the Cambodian government, while not new, is deeply worrisome as the nation moves into the 2018 general elections. The international community must confront the Hun Sen government about these attempts to curtail the freedoms of the Cambodian people. Cambodians have a right to free and fair elections under their own constitution, and only an election free of political intimidation and repression can lead to a Cambodia that is a welcome and full partner in the international community."