U.S. voices concern over Cambodia assembly purge

June 8, 2013 at 1:48 PM

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department expressed concern Saturday about the recent purge of opposition representatives from Cambodia's national legislature.

A written statement from the department said ousters were ordered by the Permanent Committee of the Cambodian National Assembly, made up entirely of members of the ruling party.

"We strongly support a political process that includes the full participation of all political parties on a level playing field," the statement said.

The BBC said the dismissal of the opposition members this week was quickly followed by passage of a measure in the assembly making it a crime to deny atrocities took place in Cambodia in the 1970s when the Khmer Rouge held power.

Human rights activists said the new law was a thinly disguised political move aimed at shoring up Prime Minister Hun Sen's re-election bid by demonizing opposition parties that have blamed Vietnam for some of the approximately 1.7 million Cambodians who died under the Khmer Rouge.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Trending Stories