Skip to Content

Sen. Cruz Responds to the Cambodian Government

Prime Minister Hun Sen must free Kem Sokha immediately

November 8, 2017

  |  

202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement regarding a letter the Cambodian Embassy sent him on Tuesday, which was sent in response to his letter of October 23 expressing concerns about the unjustified imprisonment of Kem Sokha, president of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP):

“On October 23rd, I wrote to Cambodian Ambassador Chum Bun Rong demanding the release of Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). As I made clear to the Cambodian government at the time, charging Kem Sokha with treason is the latest step in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ongoing quest to evade democratic accountability and undo the work the United States, Japan, and Europe have invested in Cambodia since the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. Beyond imprisoning the political opposition leader, Kem Sokha, Hun Sen has shut down radio stations carrying programming from Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, banned the National Democratic Institute from operating inside Cambodia, and threatened to officially dissolve the CNRP.

“Yesterday, Ambassador Bun Rong responded to my inquiry with dismissive excuses and empty platitudes. ‘It is not fair that the Cambodian government is criticized and threatened with punitive action for taking legal action to protect its own security, peace, independence, and sovereignty, just as any other nations would do,’ the Ambassador laments. Further, ‘[t]he arrest of Kem Sokha and the imminent dissolution of the [CNRP] does not spell the end of pluralistic and democratic institutions in Cambodia.’ Rather, in the Ambassador’s and Prime Minister’s opinion, the ‘counterproductive agents of change,’ like Kem Sokha, are the true threat to Cambodia.

“This attempt from the Cambodian government to assuage the United States is deeply concerning. Tomorrow is the final day Cambodian citizens can register to vote in the 2018 elections. If specific conditions are not met, including releasing Kem Sokha, allowing radio stations to resume broadcasting at their discretion, and allowing democratic organizations to operate within Cambodia, it will be impossible for the United States and our allies to recognize the legitimacy of these elections.

“Hun Sen must take the first step toward meeting these conditions by freeing Kem Sokha. And he must do so immediately. Otherwise, I will work with my colleagues in Congress and in the administration to see that, as an initial response, specified government officials responsible for these actions are prevented from traveling to the United States.”

###

Offices

Central TX

(512) 916-5834
300 E 8th
Suite 961
Austin, TX 78701
Email

 

North TX

(214) 599-8749
Lee Park Tower II
3626 N. Hall St.
Suite 410
Dallas, TX 75219
Email

Southeast TX

(713) 718-3057
The Mickey Leland Federal Building
1919 Smith Street
Suite 9047
Houston, TX 77002

Email

South/Cen. TX

(210) 340-2885
9901 IH-10W
Suite 950
San Antonio, TX 78230
Email

East TX

(903) 593-5130
305 S. Broadway
Suite 501
Tyler, TX 75702
Email

South TX

(956) 686-7339
200 S. 10th St
Suite 1603
McAllen, TX 78501
Email

West TX

Email

Washington, D.C.

(202) 224-5922
127A Russell
Washington, DC 20510
Contact

Generated in 0.109 seconds.