08 May '11, 6am

Top UN official leaves Cambodia amid rights concerns

Top UN official leaves Cambodia amid rights concerns

PHNOM PENH: Sad and relieved. That is how the director of the United Nations human rights office in Cambodia said he felt about leaving the country after effectively being forced out of his post by the government. Christophe Peschoux, who headed the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for four years, left Phnom Penh on Saturday after admitting it had become "impossible" to work in the country following numerous run-ins with the leadership. The 52-year-old Frenchman angered officials by speaking out on controversial issues, prompting Prime Minister Hun Sen to demand the UN remove him and the foreign ministry to issue a letter ordering officials to freeze him out. "Human rights are tolerated to the extent that they do not challenge the political, economic and financial interests of the ruling elite," Peschoux said. "That's where the red line runs. If you cros...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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