Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asean rights group urges release of former Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha



Asean rights group urges release of former Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha

Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police officials following his midnight arrest in September 2017. AFP
Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police officials following his midnight arrest in September 2017. AFP

Asean rights group urges release of former Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha

A group of Southeast Asian lawmakers are calling for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha on the cusp of the six-month anniversary of his arrest.

Sokha, former president of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested on September 4 and charged with “treason” over remarks he made during a 2013 speech in Australia about receiving career advice and assistance about democratic change from the US.

Charles Santiago, spokesman for the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights, today said Sokha’s continued detention was “an outrageous abuse of power by Cambodia’s ruling party”.

“The charges are so blatantly politically motivated and the judiciary so clearly acting at the behest of the Prime Minister that it’s a wonder the government even bothers going through the motions,” he said.

“These trumped-up charges should never have been brought in the first place. They should be immediately dropped and Kem Sokha unconditionally freed.”

Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs today defended all legal measures taken in cracking down on what they have termed a “colour revolution”, even as the United States cut off aid to the Kingdom this week over its recent actions. Sokha's party was forced to dissolve at the government's request in November.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and