Nation Still Lacks Basic Political Rights, Report Says

When it comes to political rights and civil liberties, Cam­bo­dian citizens continue to be “not free,” ac­cording to U.S.-based or­ganization Freedom House, which released its “Freedom in the World 2016” re­port on Wednesday.

Cambodia has been unable to shake its “not free” status since the annual study be­gan in 1972.

Freedom House de­fines a “not free” country as “one where basic political rights are ab­sent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied.”

Cambodia joins 50 out of 195 countries in the category, including re­gional neigh­bors Bur­ma, Laos, Vi­et­nam and Thai­land.

Cambo­dia’s scores are broadly un­­changed compared to last year, with political rights obtaining a score of 6 and civil liberties 5 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 representing weaker freedoms.

During his visit to Cam­bo­dia on Tues­day, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said prog­ress on hu­man rights, universal freedoms and good governance were “critical” to Cambodia meeting the as­pirations of its population.

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