A spokesman for the Cambodian government expressed regret over the US Congress’s decision to pass a bill empowering the president to sanction individual officials deemed to be responsible for undermining democracy and committing human rights violations, saying that the bill will negatively impact the relationship between the two nations. The bill will now have to pass through the senate before being approved by the president.
Seven former party members and activists of the outlawed opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sentenced to 18 months in prison on incitement charges over social media posts criticizing the government leadership over deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since his case was suspended in March 2020 amidst the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sokha and his lawyers have been unable to advance any proceedings. Their filed motions have received no response from the court, even as it has resumed normal functioning for months — a status that has included initiating new trials against rights activists and Sokha’s fellow members of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
A widening rift between former Cambodia National Rescue Party leaders and members that have split off to form their own parties threatens any chance of a united opposition front, analysts say.
A former opposition commune chief in Kampong Speu province was arrested and detained on charges of incitement on Thursday in connection with her alleged involvement in the planned return of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sam Rainsy on November 9, 2019.