My dear Kacvey,

This is the 3rd day in a row that Cambodia is almost at the lowest bottom of any scoring by international standards. After EIU and TI, it is now Freedom House on political rights and civil liberties.

In the world studies of 209 countries and territories, Freedom House classified Cambodia in the “Not Free” group of countries with a score of 32 ((0=worst, 100=best), the other 2 groups being “Free” and “Partly Free”. The detailed scoring is as follows: Political Rights: 6; Civil Liberties: 5; Freedom Rating: 5.5 (1=most free and 7=least free)

Here is link for the full report: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2016

Freedom House did not make specific comments about Cambodia, but after going through the descriptive and the table, you would certainly feel that Freedom House is still too lenient in so far as:

  • The violations of the freedom in political rights and civil liberties have always been carried out by the same autocrats who – during the Khmer Rouge era were an integral part of that political and genocidal regime – have been ruling Cambodia since 1979.
  • They have been toying with political rights and civil liberties of the Cambodian people as if these rights and liberties are their personal properties and given to Cambodians as a present.
  • They ignore the rights and liberties of the Cambodian people who are inherent to the independence and sovereignty of the country as much as they are independent, free and sovereign citizens whose rights and liberties are recognized by the Universal Declarations of Human rights and their subsequent covenants.
  • They convert the violations of political rights and civil liberties into the foundation of the autocracy filled with corruption, nepotism and abuse of power.
  • The flagrant and voluntary disrespect of political rights and civil liberties is so severe that the entire justice system has been shackled to the whim of the ruling party who takes the laws of the country into their own hands.

Kacvey, please remind your friends and your students of these words from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

And “…taken back…”

=====

Update on February 3, 2016

The Heritage Foundation issued a report called “2016 Index of Economic Freedom” where Cambodia is classified in the group of “Mostly Unfree” countries, and ranked number 112 out of 178 countries worldwide.

No Khmer with national and honest dignity is proud of this assessment upon the current governance of the country.

http://www.heritage.org/index/

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/cambodia