As the country prepares to mark Constitutional Day on September 24, civil society groups say the government has undermined the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution, a claim government officials denied.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday threatened a political analyst who had made comments critical of Cambodia’s foreign policy toward China, and said another analyst who had spoken of government negotiations with Sam Rainsy should be arrested.
In light of heightened targeting of human rights defenders and environmental activists, civil society groups have started an online campaign calling for the release of those who have been imprisoned while exercising their freedom of expression.
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.
Three environmental activists convicted earlier this year on incitement charges related to a planned protest have been handed a new charge of ‘plotting’ by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in connection with an ongoing case against four other activists.