Prime Minister To Meet UN Human Rights Envoy on Thursday

Prime Minister Hun Sen and several other senior government officials have agreed to meet with new UN human rights envoy Surya Subedi, who began a bridge building mission to Cambodia on Tuesday, officials said.

Mr Subedi met Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong at 10 am for a “courtesy call” yesterday, according to the ministry.

Sam Ratana, deputy director of international organizations at the ministry, said the prime minister is scheduled to meet Mr Subedi on Thursday.

To make way for the Prime Minister’s meeting, the president of the government’s human rights committee, Om Yentieng has moved his appointment with Mr Subedi from 10 am to 3 pm on the same day, Mr Ratana said.

“The Prime Minister will meet the envoy at nine o’clock in the morning at the Ministry of For-

eign Affairs,” he said.

The government’s cooperation with the mandate of the UN rights envoy neared the breaking point under Mr Subedi’s predecessor, Kenyan law professor Yash Ghai, who resigned in September and was denounced and shunned by Mr Hun Sen.

Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema and Interior Minister Sar Kheng are tentatively scheduled to meet with Mr Subedi on Monday, said Mr Ratana, adding that National Assembly President Heng Samrin is, however, unable to find time for a meeting.

Secretaries of state from the ministries of Land Management and Justice are also planning to meet Mr Subedi.

Prom Sidhra, Justice Ministry secretary of state in charge of court inspections, said Tuesday that he expected to meet Mr Subedi on June 24th.

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the free legal aid organization the Cambodian Defen-

ders Project, said that at a Thursday meeting with Mr Subedi, he intends to discuss matters including the question of the Cambodian judiciary’s political independence, land-grabbing and the televised campaign against NGOs.

Government officials may have proven willing to meet Mr Subedi on his first visit because an immediately hostile reaction would look bad, Mr Sam Oeun said.

“We cannot yet predict, be-

cause it is his first time. Wait until his first report,” he added.

Mr Subedi is due to report on his mission to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in three months.


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