The Ministry of Women’s Affairs released a statement Thursday expressing its “grave regret” at a joint NGO statement that criticized Prime Minister Hun Sen for a speech in which he referred to an unnamed female protester as a female animal.
During a speech on Monday, Mr. Hun Sen lambasted the woman for her role in a CNRP protest that turned violent at Freedom Park last year.
“Among those who brutally attacked [security guards], there was a woman who kicked like a wrestler,” the prime minister said. “So search and arrest such a ‘mi srey,’” he said, using a term that roughly translates as “bitch.”
“That is not called a lady, it is called a ‘mi srey’ or female animal.”
A group of 12 NGOs slammed the premier’s derogatory language in a statement released Wednesday. In a response released Thursday, the Women’s Affairs Ministry hit back at the NGOs.
“The communique aims to distort information and attack the Royal Government since Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] only spoke in reference to ‘one lady’ who kicked and fought a critically injured security guard, and he didn’t mean to discriminate against all women as a whole,” the statement said.
“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is hopeful that non-governmental organizations will be able to maintain their neutral stance and will avoid disseminating exaggerated information.”