Gov’t Slams UN Statement on Adhoc 5’s Release

The government on Tuesday took aim at the U.N.’s human rights office over a spokeswoman’s comments about the release of the Adhoc 5, and urged the intergovernmental body’s “agents” not to prejudice the independence of Cambodia’s courts.

A statement by Cambodia’s permanent mission to the U.N. said the government “does its best” to treat all Cambodian citizens equally, but claimed “some civil societies and NGOs have quite frequently distorted facts, embarked on lie[s], and exacerbated or dramatized some remote cases in order to undermine the legitimacy of [the] state’s institutions.”

“[W]e urge the United Nations agents not to prejudice the independent functioning of the judiciary,” it said.

During a news briefing in Geneva two weeks ago, Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, welcomed last month’s release on bail of the five former and current workers for rights group Adhoc after more than a year in detention, but said the office “remains concerned” about their trials despite the lack of evidence.

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