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Hun Sen defends crackdowns and warns NGOs and journalists

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned NGO workers not to comment on politics and told journalists to be careful or risk jail time, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Tuesday.

In a sweeping angry speech at a construction site in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen singled out one NGO director whom he did not name.

There is a person who works in an NGODo not come to make disorder as anayst this morning I have seen it. Just take my message. Politicians talk with each other about politics and you are from an NGO, so do not make this messy, said the premier.

Gesticulating as his voice reverberated with anger, Hun Sen told would-be analysts to be careful.

If I work for an NGO, I have rights, but when I am wrong, I will be in jail. If I am a journalist, I have rights, but when those rights impact on other people, I will be in jail because the law will put them in jail and make them pay money, said Hun Sen.

Pro-government news outlet Fresh News on Monday said Hun Sen's tirade appeared to aim at Koul Panha, executive director of election watch Comfrel for comments he made to Phnom Penh Post published on Monday about immature leaks fostering suspicion.

Hun Sen said demonstrations against the US election results saw a wave of arrests and thus use of force by Cambodian authorities was justified.

He added Cambodia's violent crackdowns on peaceful protests were to protect all people and prevent chaotic demonstrations from damaging public order.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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