Rep. Lowenthal and Rep. Salmon Call On Cambodia To Respect Democracy and End All Political Violence

December 8, 2015
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal is calling on the Prime Minister of Cambodia to revoke the arrest warrant of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, renounce all forms of political violence, and end the systemic harassment and intimidation of political opposition to the current Cambodian government.

In a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Congressman Lowenthal (CA-47) and Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, along with 14 other House Members, detail a number of recent actions taken by the ruling Cambodian People's Party that have created a "shrinking space for democracy and civil society" in Cambodia.

The letter specifically points to the Cambodian government passage of the "Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations" which severely restricts the development of civil society by requiring registration and government approval of NGOs.

In addition, the letter expresses serious concern over violent attacks in Phnom Penh in October by protestors on two elected lawmakers from the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party, one of which is a United States citizen.

"These actions are detrimental to the development of democratic institutions in Cambodia; they further harm both Cambodia's international standing and efforts to deepen ties between our countries," Congressman Lowenthal wrote. "The people of Cambodia deserve to have their voices heard in a society that welcomes open debate and respects democratic values."

In addition to Congressman Lowenthal, the other Representatives who joined in signing the letter include: Madeleine Bordallo (GU-01), Steve Chabot (OH-01), David  Cicilline (RI-01), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Ed Royce (CA-39), Adam Schiff (CA-28), and Niki Tsongas (MA-03).

To read the full text of the letter, please click here.