COVID-19 and Cambodia’s human rights concerns

In late January, Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, made a televised statement about the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 virus outbreak originating from Wuhan, China. He also threatened to “kick out” reporters or officials seen wearing a face mask.

He said that the real illness was the fear they faced from inaccurate information spreading on social media. At the time, the country had only one confirmed COVID-19 case – a Chinese man who had travelled to Cambodia from Wuhan.

Hun Sen called for citizens not to discriminate against the Chinese, as the country hosts many Chinese investors and tourists. “There is no one who died, and not a single Cambodian contracting the virus, it happened only to a Chinese man,” he reassured.

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