Congressmen Lowenthal and Chabot Applaud Bipartisan Passage of Bill Imposing Sanctions On Cambodian Officials Attacking Cambodian Democracy

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Washington, D.C., July 16, 2019 | comments

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Congressman Steve Chabot (OH-01), co-chairs of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, today applauded the bipartisan passage of legislation which will enact sanctions on Cambodian government officials responsible for undermining democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.

Entitled the Cambodian Democracy Act of 2019, H.R.526 would freeze all assets in the United States, restrict all financial transactions with the U.S., and deny entry to the U.S., of senior Cambodian government, military, and security force officials whom the President of the United States determines have “directly and substantially undermined democracy in Cambodia.”

“From shuttering or co-opting the free press, to banishing and even killing political opponents, to holding a sham election declaring him the people’s choice, the regime of Prime Minister Hun Sen has done everything in its power to destroy any hope of democracy in Cambodia,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Hun Sen’s continued authoritarianism runs counter to the promises made to the Cambodia people in the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. The Cambodia Democracy Act’s sanctions are the price Hun Sen and his regime must pay for their relentless assault on the freedom of the Cambodian people.”

“As co-chairs of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, Congressman Lowenthal and I have been fighting for democracy in Cambodia for quite some time now,” Congressman Chabot said. “Passage of the Cambodia Democracy Act is an important step toward holding Prime Minister Hun Sen and his cronies accountable for continuing to trample on the rights of the Cambodian people. I want to thank Congressman Yoho and Chairman Engel for their work and I urge the Senate to prioritize its consideration. Moving forward we will also continue to support legislation that supports democracy and human rights in Cambodia.”

The sanctions and travel restrictions would go into effect within 180 days of the bill being signed into law by President Trump.

The bill was previously passed by the House in the 115th Congress, but the Senate did not take it up. The bill was introduced in the current 116th Congress by Congressman Ted Yoho (FL-03) and has yet to be taken up in the Senate.
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