Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No political prisoners here: PM

No political prisoners here: PM

No political prisoners here: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen took to Facebook yesterday to deny the existence of political prisoners in Cambodia, a stance greeted with a healthy dose of scepticism.

“There are no political prisoners, only politicians who commit illegal acts and are punished according to the laws,” Hun Sen wrote, when asked by a user to release political prisoners.

But amid a spate of cases widely believed to be politically motivated, rights group Licadho currently identifies 26 political prisoners on its website, a position deputy director Naly Pilorge confirmed yesterday.

“The number of political prisoners . . . has risen sharply as the authorities have made increasing use of the criminal justice system to persecute dissenters,” a Licadho statement reads.

Licadho lists officials from rights group Adhoc as well as opposition lawmakers as current political prisoners.

Analyst Ou Virak also agreed yesterday that “there are people in jail right now who would qualify as political prisoners”.

But CPP spokesman Sok Eysan maintained that the Adhoc staffers in particular weren’t political prisoners because they haven’t been convicted, despite having already spent 250 days in pre-trial detention.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but