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Cambodia leaders reject visiting UN rights envoy

[JURIST] UN human rights envoy Yash Ghai [appointment notice] arrived in Cambodia [JURIST news archive] Tuesday to prepare his latest report on the country's rights situation but encountered opposition from Cambodian authorities who claim that Ghai's previous reports were distorted. Ghai had expressed hope that he would be able to hear reactions to his work, but government officials, including National Assembly President Heng Samrin, have said that it is "pointless" to meet with Ghai. Cambodian officials accuse Ghai of being biased and unreliable.

Ghai issued a report on Cambodia in March, saying that the government has systematically violated human rights and civil liberties [JURIST report] to maintain its hold on power. The report listed illegal land grabs, torture while in police custody, corruption among senior government officials, and steadfast government opposition to democracy among other violations. Last year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen [official profile] said that Ghai should be removed [JURIST report] from his position as special envoy after Ghai publicly criticized Cambodia's intolerance to dissent [AP report]. AFP has more.

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