Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Banned opposition’s vice president held at Kuala Lumpur Airport: report

Mu Sochua speaks to CNRP's supporters at the Freedom Park while Sam Rainsy returned home on July 19 2013. Supplied

The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party’s (CNRP) vice president, Mu Sochua, has been detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, according to a news report.

She had held a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday before announcing she would be traveling to another ASEAN country in preparation for the party’s return on Saturday.

However, she has been detained by Malaysian authorities at the Kuala Lumpur airport, according to a Reuters report.

Jerald Joseph, a commissioner for the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, told the news service that he had spoken to Sochua and she did not think she would be deported to Cambodia. However, he said it was unclear where she would be sent.

Sochua did not respond to messages on Thursday.

Several senior leaders of the CNRP have been living abroad since the party was dissolved in November 2017, and have vowed to attempt a return to Cambodia on Nov. 9.

Charles Santiago, a Malaysian parliamentarian and chairman of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), said Sochua — who is also an APHR board member — should not be detained.

Malaysia should follow human rights principles and set Sochua free, as Cambodian dissidents would be put in jail by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, he told CamboJA.

“His government is hell bent in destroying any semblance of legitimate opposition. Malaysia should not detain her or send her to Cambodia,” Santiago said in a message.