Sixteen local NGOs released a joint statement Thursday calling on Prime Minister Hun Sen to publicly repudiate National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha’s January 15 speech in which he said he learned strategy from Adolf Hitler.
The organizations—which included Adhoc, the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, and the Housing Rights Task Force—also asked the National Assembly to call General Sokha to parliament for questioning over the remarks.
“Adolf Hitler was a Nazi dictator in Germany, who was considered around the world a wicked leader who caused World War II and cruelly killed people and carried out the massacre of…Jews all across Europe,” the statement says.
“The statement of the Cambodian national military commander affects the honor of the national armed forces, which is an independent establishment and one that provides security and peace to the people, and also insults nonviolent demonstrators, and takes the people to be the enemies.”
Contacted on Wednesday, Gen. Sokha declined to discuss his remarks directly.
“I will not say anything further because I have already replied to that,” he said. “The newspapers have already published it.”
He added, “I do not have such a concept, as published by The Cambodia Daily, which made others surprised. Thank you. I did not know I was a person other people were so interested in. I did not know I was so special.”
Mr. Sokha also said he hoped his remarks would be published in full, “if a newspaper is brave enough.”
Read an extended excerpt from Sao Sokha’s speech here.