Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Cambodia received a downward trend arrow due to the government’s consolidation of control over all aspects of the electoral process, its increased intimidation of civil society, and its apparent influence over the tribunal trying former members of the Khmer Rouge.
In July 2010, the international tribunal trying former leaders of the Khmer Rouge announced its first judgment, but also faced criticism over its refusal to expand the number of suspects currently indicted. Critics of the government continued to face legal harassment, while the government used a dispute with Thailand over a border temple to boost nationalism and consolidate the power of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family.Both the United States and China sought to increase their ties to Cambodia during the year, with the United States holding joint military exercises despite concerns about human rights abuses committed by the Cambodian armed forces.
Cambodia is not an electoral democracy. The current constitution was promulgated in 1993 by the king, who serves as head of state. The monarchy remains highly revered as a symbol of national unity. Prince Norodom Sihamoni, who has lived abroad for much of his life, succeeded his father, King Norodom Sihanouk, in 2004 after the latter abdicated for health reasons.