Venue: Lehman Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation
Date: 26 July 2016
On October 23, 1991, the U.S., Japan, Indonesia, Australia, the United Kingdom and France were among 19 countries to sign the Paris Peace Accords – formally ending the war in Cambodia. In so doing, the agreement provided the basis for a democratic transition and committed the parties to “promote and encourage respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cambodia.” Today, the democratic institutions it ushered in are again under threat.
The leadership of the opposition’s Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) is effectively silenced with opposition leader Sam Rainsy living in exile in Europe. Acting CNRP leader, Kem Sokha, is under de facto house arrest at CNRP headquarters. Cambodia has at least 23 political prisoners, many of whom are opposition leaders imprisoned in recent weeks and months. Human rights activists are also under duress, some in prison, and one political analyst, Dr. Kem Ley, was murdered on July 10th, 2016.
The situation is deteriorating quickly and the need for external accountability great. Please join us for a discussion on the need for U.S. leadership in holding Cambodia accountable to the democratic principles it agreed to respect in the Paris Peace Agreements.
Keynote Address byElizabeth BeckerPulitzer Prize Winning Correspondent, New York Times in Cambodia, and Author of When The War Was Over, A Modern History of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge
Followed by a Panel Discussion withSam LaHoodRegional Deputy Director, International Republican Institute
Walter LohmanDirector, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation