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Archive for Cambodia

Newsline: Sacked US Embassy guards in Cambodia stage protest

Almost three dozen security guards fired by the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for allegedly sharing pornography on smartphones they used for work held a protest Tuesday demanding proper compensation from their former employer. The 32 protesting guards said they had been sacked without a full explanation and not according to the law, and placards they held complained of injustice. The protesters acknowledged that some pornographic images had been shared but argued that it had been on a private chat group they had set up on Facebook Messenger and not the official embassy chat group. Reports in Cambodia media had said some images featured people under the age of 18, but one placard declared the allegation unproven. A spokesman for the embassy, David Josar, said it did not comment on internal personnel matters but took the problem of child pornography seriously and also respected the right to peaceful protest. An embassy official accepted a petition from the group. The protesters claimed the phones at issue were their own property, not the embassy’s. They also accused the embassy of violating their rights by searching their phones. The guards said their terms of employment at the embassy ranged from five to 20 years. They said since they got fired in late March, they have filed several complaints with the embassy, but had not received a satisfactory response. Until the matter was fairly resolved, they said, they would continue to protest.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/sacked-us-embassy-guards-cambodia-stage-protest-55994165

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Newsline: Thirty-two US embassy workers in Cambodia fired over alleged sharing of pornography

The United States embassy in Cambodia has fired 32 people after they were allegedly caught sharing pornographic material in a non-official chat group, several sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Four sources told Reuters that pornographic videos and photographs, including some featuring people under the age of 18, were shared in a Facebook Messenger chat group. Some of the images were seen by the wife of an embassy worker who reported the incident to an official at the embassy. The matter was then forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the sources said. “They had their identification cards taken and some of their phones checked,” a former U.S. embassy staff member told Reuters on condition of anonymity. He said the 32 embassy workers included Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans. Many were guards and some were clerical staff. There were no diplomats among them, they said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-usa/thirty-two-u-s-embassy-workers-in-cambodia-fired-over-alleged-sharing-of-pornography-idUSKBN1HK0VV

Newsline: Malaysian arrested in Cambodia over embassy row

A 49-year-old Malaysian was arrested by municipal immigration police after he caused a disturbance at the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh. Noun Boreth, a municipal immigration police officer, identified the man arrested as Felix Melvile Emmund, a Malaysian tourist. He said that yesterday morning at about 7am, Mr Emmund went to the Malaysian embassy, where he informed officials that he had lost his passport. While seeking help, Mr Emmund became upset because embassy officials were not being cooperative, claiming that it was the second time he had lost his passport. “He was angry at the officials at the embassy for not solving his problem,” said Mr Boreth. “He then made trouble at the embassy, disturbing their work. “The officials at the embassy reported him to the chief of municipal police for intervention,” he added. “He was later arrested by our police.” He added that after his arrest, the suspect was sent to the immigration department at the Ministry of Interior for questioning, where he remains.

http://www.khmertimeskh.com/50105185/malaysian-arrested-over-embassy-row/

Newsline: US responds to criticism of embassy in Cambodia

The United States’ Asean mission rebutted criticism by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who told US President Donald Trump in a speech at the Asean Summit in Manila that the US Embassy in Phnom Penh was violating a purported new American policy of noninterference. In a press release, the US mission to Asean said Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs Matt Pottinger, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia W Patrick Murphy had met Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn in Manila on the sidelines of the Asean Summit, and had “expressed strong concerns” about recent political developments in the Kingdom. They highlighted “restrictions on the free press, civil society, and the political opposition” and voiced “deep concerns” about the detention of opposition leader Kem Sokha, arrested in September on widely criticised charges of “treason”. In his speech at the summit on Monday, Hun Sen lauded Trump personally as a kindred spirit and for his purported foreign policy of noninterference, but asked him to warn his officials in Phnom Penh to stop violating this policy.

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/us-responds-hun-sens-criticism-embassy

Newsline: US Ambassador to Cambodia Rejects Accusations of Interference

The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia has responded forcefully to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s accusations the United States is attempting to oust his government, saying the charges are “inaccurate, misleading and baseless.” Ambassador William Heidt’s remarks came less than two weeks after the Cambodian government’s September 3 arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha, who has been charged with treason for allegedly plotting with the United States to strip power from Hun Sen. Ambassador Heidt demanded the government release Kem Sokah and establish a dialogue between the government and the opposition to “salvage” upcoming elections. “If Cambodia’s elections were held today, no credible international observer would certify them as free, fair and reflecting the will of the Cambodian people,” Heidt said. Hun Sen, one of China’s closest regional allies, threatened Monday to dissolve Kem Sokha’s Cambodia National Rescue Party if it continued to support him.

https://www.voanews.com/a/us-ambassador-to-cambodia-reject-accusations-of-interference/4026951.html

Newsline: Cambodians rally in front of Vietnamese Embassy

Around 100 ethnic minority Khmer Krom monks and activists in Cambodia continued their rally in front of the Vietnamese Embassy here on Sunday, marking the 2nd day of a fresh protest against a Vietnamese diplomat. The rally, expected to last until Wednesday, is to demand a Vietnamese diplomat to recognize that Kampuchea Krom, which is now a part of Vietnam, is Cambodia’s former territory. Protesters are rallying outside the embassy, which is fortified by riot police and heavy steel barricades. There is no report of violence even though those protesters gather without permission from the Phnom Penh Municipality. On Saturday, the first day of the protest, activists set Vietnamese flags on fire outside the embassy. The minority Khmer Krom community has launched a number of protests against Vietnam in recent months after Trung Van Thong, a spokesman for the Vietnamese embassy to Cambodia, commented on a radio program in June that South Vietnam, which protesters claim was once part of former Kampuchea Krom provinces, belonged to Vietnam “long” before France’s official transfer of the land in 1949. A protest leader Thach Sitha, president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, said Saturday that the protest was to demand an apology from the Vietnamese diplomat and to urge him to accept the true history of the former Kampuchea Krom provinces.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/141005/cambodias-ethnic-khmer-krom-activists-continue-rally-front-v

Newsline: Cambodian protesters clash with police outside Australian embassy ahead of refugee resettlement deal

Cambodian protesters clashed with police outside the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh, as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison prepared to sign a deal in which the impoverished South-East Asian country would resettle Australian-bound refugees. At least one protester was knocked down by police, suffered a cut head and was dragged away during the protests, as more than 100 Cambodians demanded Canberra abandon the agreement. Cambodia’s Minister of Interior, Sar Kheng, told reporters in Cambodia on Friday that the resettlement deal, to be signed at a table in a bare meeting hall in Phnom Penh with a tiny Australian flag and a tiny Cambodian flag on the table, by Mr Morrison and Mr Kheng, will initially involve a small number of refugees moving to Cambodia under a pilot project.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cambodian-protesters-clash-with-police-outside-australian-embassy-ahead-of-refugee-resettlement-deal-20140926-10miqy.html