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Quote of the day

CNRP leader Kem Sokha in response to ruling party claims that an opposition victory could lead to instability and war.

Leading

‘Adhoc 5’ may face more time

After informing two media outlets in separate interviews that the pre-trial detention of the so-called “Adhoc 5” had been extended, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court clerk yesterday retracted his statement, prompting one of the defence lawyers to speculate that the extension of their clients’ detention was a foregone conclusion. The speculation came just as it was announced that the five had been nominated for the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, along with two other finalists from El Salvador and Egypt.

Activists gather near palace to mark Chut Wutty’s death

To mark the five-year anniversary of the killing of environmental activist Chut Wutty, several dozen activists peacefully gathered by the Royal Palace yesterday to call for an investigation into his murder.
“Justice has not been delivered for him, so we are depending on the spiritual [world] to find justice for him,” environmentalist twins Chum Hout and Chum Hour said before offering their prayers. A roughly equal number of Daun Penh district police interrupted the gathering by blowing whistles and by confronting protesters physically.

CNRP activists’ case stalled as police stake out courthouse

Defence lawyers for 11 CNRP activists appealing an “insurrection” charge refused to proceed with the hearing yesterday without the presence of plaintiffs, as drastically heightened court security restricted media outlets and even family members from attending what the judge insisted was a public trial. Former CNRP official Meach Sovannara was among those sentenced to up to 20 years for their alleged roles in an opposition protest that turned violent in 2014 when demonstrators turned on a crowd of Daun Penh security guards.

Press freedom declines: RSF report

Cambodia's press freedom ranking has fallen four spots compared to last year, to 132 out of 180 countries, according to RSF's latest World Press Freedom Index. The 2017 index cited the high-profile killing of political commentator Kem Ley as an attempt to gag the media and critics. Ley was gunned down in a Phnom Penh service station last July, days after the release of an explosive Global Witness report mapping out Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family’s web of questionable business ties, a report Ley had commented on in the media.

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