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Beehive radio director's health deteriorates in jail

Beehive radio director's health deteriorates in jail

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Beehive Radio director and Association of Democrats president Mam Sonando (C) is escorted by police at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Beehive Radio director and Association of Democrats president Mam Sonando (C) is escorted by police at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Imprisoned Association of Democrats president and Beehive Radio director Mam Sonando had fallen ill for a second time, his wife said yesterday.

Din Phannara, who visited her husband yesterday and the day before, said Sonando had been fighting severe diarrhoea and chronic fatigue, had a swollen face and was almost incapable of walking.

She said his health had continuously deteriorated over the course of his one-month stay in prison.

“He hasn’t eaten since Monday, and he has diarrhoea, making him powerless,” Phannara said. “Previously, he never got sick, but this month, he’s been sick twice.”

Sonando came down with a fever in late July, shortly after he was imprisoned for alleged involvement in a so-called “secessionist plot” in Kratie province in May.

The arrest came just after Sonando hosted a broadcast from The Hague, where a group had filed a case against Prime Minister Hun Sen, accusing him and senior CPP leaders of crimes against humanity.

In April, the Ministry of Information ordered Sonando’s Beehive Radio to stop broadcasting a show called Khmer Post, which frequently featured views critical of the government, saying it had not received appropriate permission from the ministry.

Phannara said her husband was treated at the prison infirmary and was gradually improving but still suffering.

She said Sonando had appealed to the courts and the government to withdraw their accusations, which he maintains are baseless.

Sok Samoeun, Sonando’s defence lawyer, said the court had finished its investigation into his case.

“After the verdict, I will file a letter to ask for cancellation of the allegation,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

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