For Immediate Release Contact: Brian Griffith
July 28, 2021 202.225.2216

                   Chabot, Lowenthal Cambodia Democracy Act Passes Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Cambodia Democracy Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Cambodia, to impose sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for uprooting democracy in the country.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen and his cronies must face significant consequences from the United States in response to their arrest of Kem Sokha and the dissolution of the opposition party in 2017 – a crackdown that has continued until today,” Chabot said. “Hun Sen has undemocratically dominated the country since 1985. We must stand with the Cambodian people as he continues to stifle their rights and preclude a free and fair election. The Cambodia Democracy Act will hold him accountable and support Cambodians’ legitimate democratic aspirations.”

“From shuttering or co-opting the free press, to banishing political opponents, to holding a sham election declaring him the people’s choice, the regime of Prime Minister Hun Sen has done everything in its power to destroy any hope of democracy in Cambodia,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Hun Sen’s continued authoritarianism runs counter to the promises made to the Cambodia people in the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. The Cambodia Democracy Act’s sanctions are the price Hun Sen and his regime must pay for their relentless assault on the freedom of the Cambodian people.”

Background:

•     Prime Minister Hun Sen arrested the opposition leader, Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodia National          Rescue Party (CNRP) and dissolved the CNRP in the lead up to the 2018 Cambodian elections.

•     The Cambodia Democracy Act directs the President to impose sanctions on Cambodian officials who are          responsible for acts that undermine democracy in Cambodia.

•     The President may suspend the sanctions if Cambodia makes significant progress towards ending                    government efforts to undermine democracy and commit human rights violations.

•     House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) offered an amendment during markup        to include updated findings which demonstrate that Hun Sen’s crackdown continues until today.

•     This legislation passed the House of Representatives in the 115th and 116th Congress.

A copy of the legislation can be found here.

Chairman Meeks’ Amendment can be found here.

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