PHNOM PENH, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is more than ever committed to human rights promotion and protection approach with its organic laws, said a government statement released on Tuesday by the Foreign Ministry's spokesman.
The statement was made after Ouch Borith, secretary of state for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Friday exchanged views on the issues of human rights with European Union's delegation led by the British Ambassador Andrew Mace, who is representing Sweden in their presidency of the EU.
During the meeting, Ouch Borith underlined that "Cambodia is more than ever committed to human rights promotion and protection approach with its organic laws."
At the same time, Ouch Borith stressed that Cambodia's democracy is based on the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"While individual rights, freedom of expression and a culture of debates are taking deeper roots in Cambodia, we must recognize that the exercise of these rights and freedoms in any democratic society must be within the rule of law," he said
EU's meeting with the government follows a Phnom Penh Municipal Court ruling on Aug. 4 that found opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) lawmaker Mu Sochua guilty of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen and ordered her to pay about 4,100 U.S. dollars in fines and compensation.
The EU expressed "concern over a number of instances in which criminal charges of defamation and disinformation have been used against representatives of civil society, the media and the political opposition," according to the report of the Cambodia Daily.
"Laws and regulations concerning defamation and disinformation exist worldwide, particularly in developed countries, to protect and guarantee the right to dignity of everyone," Ouch Borith said.
"The verdicts by the Cambodian Court on the recent defamation and disinformation cases are in compliance with the existing laws in relation to these offences," he added.
Admitting "the country still faces many challenges," Ouch Borith reassured the delegation of the EU that "Cambodia is firmly committed to ensuring that the country embraces the principles of democracy and human rights with the rule of law."