House of Lords written question – answered at on 1 March 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Spokesperson for International Development, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the Government of Cambodia about the conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two others.

Photo of Lord Brett Lord Brett Government Whip, Government Whip

The UK is aware of the case of Sam Rainsy and two local farmers. Our embassy is in close contact with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who monitored the trial. We are in discussion with EU member states regarding further representations.

The UK and its EU partners have on a number of occasions raised concerns with the Government of Cambodia about treatment of opposition members of the National Assembly. We have also urged the opposition parties to engage constructively with the political process. In August 2009 the UK as local EU presidency carried out a demarche at the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise concerns about respect for freedom of expression, democracy and the rule of law. The subjects raised included a legal case brought against an opposition MP for criminal defamation. Concerns about the prosecution of opposition MPs, and respect for democratic norms and freedom of expression more generally, were also raised by a number of member states on 1 December 2009 during the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of Cambodia.

Mr Rainsy provided Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials with a briefing on his situation during his visit to the UK.

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