Quotations from U.S.
Government Reports and Important Individuals
Quotes selected from and article "Cambodia
Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998"
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
February 26, 1999
"The seriously weakened Khmer
Rouge continued to wage a low-level guerrilla insurgency against the
Government. From July 1997 until November, Khmer Rouge troops
cooperated with resistance forces loyal to FUNCINPEC against
government troops. Former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died in April."
"The ethnic Vietnamese minority
faced widespread social discrimination and some acts of violence
perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge and persons loyal to the FUNCINPEC
and Sam Rainsy parties."
"Khmer Rouge forces committed a
number of abuses, including killings, and committed violence against
the ethnic Vietnamese minority"
"On July 17, a driver named Mon
and a militia guard named Ngor were killed when a group transporting
election materials was attacked near a village close to the former
Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng. Available evidence indicates
that the attackers were either remnant Khmer Rouge forces or Khmer
Rouge defectors from Anlong Veng."
"The Government continued to allow
human rights groups to visit prisons and to provide human rights
training to prison guards."
"Self-imposed exile following
their inauguration on September 24. These politicians included
Prince Norodom Ranariddh (FUNCINPEC), Sam Rainsy, and over two dozen
other FUNCINPEC and SRP Parliamentarians. While many of the
FUNCINPEC officials returned without incident shortly thereafter,
Prince Ranariddh, Sam Rainsy, and most of the SRP parliamentarians
returned in November only after receiving personal assurances of
security from King Sihanouk and Prime Minister-designate Hun Sen."
"In September Sam Rainsy (SRP)
official Srun Vong Vannak, who had been convicted of the 1996 murder
of Mrs. Hun Sen's brother-in-law, was released from prison after
receiving a pardon from King Sihanouk. The King granted the pardon
after receiving approval of the country's political leadership."
"Most newspapers criticize the
Government frequently, and Prime Minister Hun Sen frequently came
under strong attack by opposition newspapers both before and after
"Unlike previous years, no journalist
was killed for publishing critical articles. However, there was one
report of a violent attack against a journalist. On June 8, Thong Oy
Pang, the editor of the pro-CPP Koh Santepheap (Island of Peace)
newspaper, was wounded by gunfire from close range by unknown
"At least one prominent
politician, Ken Sokha of the Son Sann Party, was prevented from
leaving during this period. The Government claimed that he was
subject to lawful arrest as a result of his illegal activities
during the summoning him to court for questioning. Following the
agreement to form a new coalition Government in November, Ken Sokha
appeared in court without incident in response to a third summons."
"Leading to the July elections belatedly began, and elections
ultimately were held in July. More than 93 percent of the eligible
electorate voted. The CPP received 41.4 percent of the vote;
FUNCINPEC 31.7 percent; the Sam Rainsy 14.3 percent."
"The UNHCR received 18 reported
cases of killings and two cases of attempted killings during the
preelection period. Of these, only three were determined to have
been clearly politically motivated, and two others were perpetrated
by Khmer Rouge forces. Of the 18 cases, at least 5 involved the
killing of CPP officials."
"In National Assembly elections,
each province elected members through a system of proportional
representation. Three of the 39 parties that took part 3 won seats:
The CPP won 64 seats; FUNCINPEC won 43 seats; and the Sam Rainsy
party won 15 seats. Over 93 percent of the eligible persons cast
ballots. Despite the incidents of political violence and
intimidation and the failure of legal institutions to resolve
complaints of election irregularities sufficiently, most
international observer groups certified the election as acceptable.
The formation of the new Government reflected the will of the
"There were credible reports that
both security personnel and ordinary citizens routinely singled out
Vietnamese citizens for discrimination during the election campaign.
During the registration period, many were given languages tests,
then refused registration because of their accent or vocabulary. At
the urging of opposition politicians campaigned on a theme of ethnic
hatred and used ethnic slurs to urge expulsion of Vietnamese
"After the election, some
opposition politicians, including Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy, made
inflammatory statement propaganda directed against ethnic Vietnamese
citizens and Vietnamese residents. Some prominent opposition
politicians used racial epithets and anti-Vietnamese slogans during
the antigovernment rallies."