US Congress passes sanctions bill on human rights

The three Mother Nature activists arrive at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning, June 19, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

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.

Former opposition members convicted for criticising COVID-19 response

A police officer walks in fron of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, picture taken on July 27, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

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.

In Kem Sokha trial limbo, analysts see strategy to split up CNRP

Former opposition leader Kem Sokha greets onlookers as he leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Picture taken on January 16, 2020. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

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).

CNRP splinter parties cause internal strife, analysts say

Drivers pass a sign for the newly formed Cambodia National Love Party in Battambang city. Photo taken on August 17, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

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.

Former CNRP Kampong Speu commune chief imprisoned

Pedestrians walk past the former Cambodia National Rescue Party headquarters in Phnom Penh. Picture taken on May 24, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

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.