From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Chis & Claudette Begin)
Subject: Cambodia-HRW Condemns CPP coup against FUNCINPEC
(New York, 8 July 97) Human Rights Watch today called on the international community to unequivocally condemn the coup in Cambodia on Saturday by Cambodian People's Party leader and co-Prime Minister Hun Sen against his coalition partner, Prince Ranariddh of the royalist FUNCINPEC party, and to take all necessary measures to prevent the CPP from carrying out a massive purge of its opponents.
At least one senior FUNCINPEC official, Ho Sok, a secretary of state in the Interior Ministry, is reported to have been executed by a shot to the head. He had reportedly been given refuge at the Singaporean embassy on Sunday night but left the embassy on Monday and was immediately arrested. He was taken by security officers to the judiciary police in the Ministry of Interior. A CPP statement on Tuesday initially said he had committed suicide, but Gen. Khieu Sopheak, an adviser to Hun Sen, made a more ambiguous statement later."He was arrested by the government troops and he has died,'' the Associated Press quoted Sopheak as saying.
Other reports indicate that some twenty FUNCINPEC members were arrested in Prey Veng. The publisher of a newspaper called Sangkros Khmer that had been critical of the CPP has disappeared; human rights monitors in Phnom Penh fear he may be in custody. In Battambang, the FUNCINPEC police commissioner, Von Chun Ly, was arrested together with twelve of his bodyguards. Unconfirmed reports received early Tuesday said that FUNCINPEC General Nhek Bun Chhay had been arrested thirty kilometers outside Phnom Penh.
Human Rights Watch/Asia said anyone linked to FUNCINPEC or the other two opposition parties, the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party and the Khmer Nation Party, appeared to be in danger, as did anyone who had publicly criticized the CPP. "Hun Sen and the CPP must be held fully responsible for the human rights abuses that have occurred thus far. Cambodia's donors, investors and neighbors need first and foremost to give all possible assistance to those in danger, including offering refuge in embassies as needed," said Sidney Jones, executive director of Human Rights Watch/Asia. "They should also issue an unambiguous warning that the CPP government will be cut off from the economic assistance Cambodia so badly needs unless arrests of suspected political opponents cease immediately, those already arrested are released, and an impartial inquiry into the death of Ho Sok is immediately initiated," said Sidney Jones, executive director of Human Rights Watch/Asia. Donor countries pledged $450 million in aid to the Cambodian government last week in Paris.
She welcomed reports of the Japanese government's decision to suspend aid and praised the ASEAN governments' calling for an immediate ceasefire and their decision to call an emergency meeting to review the decision to grant Cambodia membership. "These actions stand in sharp contrast to those of the U.S., France, Australia and some other industrialized countries which have equivocated about calling this coup a coup."
Human Rights Watch/Asia Human Rights Watch is a nongovernmental organization established in 1978 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights in Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and among the signatories of the Helsinki accords. Kenneth Roth is the executive director; Cynthia Brown is the program director. Robert L. Bernstein is the chair of the board and Adrian W. DeWind is vice chair. Its Asia division was established in 1985 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights in Asia. Sidney Jones is the executive director; Mike Jendrzejczyk is the Washington director; Robin Munro is the Hong Kong director; Patricia Gossman is senior researcher; Jeannine Guthrie is NGO Liaison; Zunetta Liddell and Paul Slusher are research associates; Paul Lall and Olga Nousias are associates; Mickey Spiegel is a research consultant. Andrew J. Nathan is chair of the advisory committee and Orville Schell is vice chair.
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