Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sovannara not allowed to travel

Sovannara not allowed to travel

Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party activist Meach Sovannara is escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh last week ahead of his hearing.
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party activist Meach Sovannara is escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh last week ahead of his hearing. Heng Chivoan

Sovannara not allowed to travel

The Supreme Court opted to uphold a lower court’s verdict yesterday, ruling that Meach Sovannara, the jailed information chief of the Cambodian National Rescue Party, cannot leave Cambodia to seek medical treatment.

Sovannara, who holds Cambodian and US citizenship, was sued for his participation in a 2014 demonstration at Freedom Park where security forces and demonstrators clashed.

On July 20, 2015, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for “leading an insurrection”. He had appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to travel abroad for a medical check-up for injuries sustained in a car accident last year.

But Kim Sathavy, the presiding judge, refused the request, saying that the lower court’s decision to ensure that Sovannara remains in Cambodia was the correct one.

After the verdict, Sovannara’s attorney, Chuong Choungy, said he recognised that the Supreme Court’s decision is final, but said he will discuss ways to file a further complaint with his client.

Sovannara was jailed at a time of heightened tensions between the ruling and opposition parties in a case widely considered to be politically motivated.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,