Cambodia. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen noted in
January that he held the post for 30 years. The 62-year-old
showed no signs of wanting to step down. On the anniversary,
he highlighted the country's strong economic growth and that
he had made peace. It was in response to criticism from the
opposition and human rights groups against his authoritarian
In June, the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CCP)
elected Hun Sen as party leader since longtime party leader
Chea Sim passed away. Chea Sim was also President of the
Relations between CCP and opposition party CNRP
(Cambodia's National Rescue Party) deteriorated after
thawing in 2014. Eleven CNRP activists were sentenced in
July to long prison sentences for "rioting", almost a year
after participating in a demonstration against the disputed
2013 election results. received 20 years in prison.
In October, a large crowd gathered outside Parliament
demanding that one of the Deputy Speaker of the House,
CNRP's Kem Sokha, be dismissed. Hun Sen had condemned him
since he claimed that CNRP would win the next election. Two
of the CNRP's MPs were beaten when they arrived at the scene
without police intervention. Shortly thereafter, Kem Sokha
was dismissed from the post.
The following month, a special parliamentary committee
decided that CNRP leader Sam Rainsy would lose his freedom
of charge. A court had requested him detained since he was
sentenced in 2011 in his absence for slander by a leading
CPP politician. The verdict was considered politically
The UN special envoy for Cambodia, Rhona Smith, as well
as UN chief Ban Ki Moon criticized the development and urged
the parties to dialogue.
Other examples of the government's pressure on critical
votes were that Parliament passed a law that forces
individual organizations to be politically neutral and that
they can be fined or banned if they offend politicians.
Critics fear that the law intends to silence activists who
pay attention to abuse or theft.
Minimum wages were raised by almost 10% in the
economically important textile industry, which employs
approximately 700,000 people. The unions had demanded higher
increases. There were continued reports of serious
malfunctions in some factories.
During the year, Cambodia received five refugees in
accordance with a contentious refugee program concluded in
2014 with Australia. The refugees were transferred from a
camp on the Pacific island of Nauru.
In March, the UN-backed tribunal charged two leaders in
the Red Khmer for murder and slavery during the 1975-79
terrorist violence. In August, former Minister of Social
Affairs Ieng Thirith, who was married to late Foreign
Minister Ieng Sary, passed away. She was considered to be
the most influential woman in the leadership of the Red
Khmer. Ieng Thirith was charged with, among other things,
genocide but in 2011 had been declared too dementia-sick to
be brought to justice.