Last updated on November 8, 2019
The United States on Friday expressed concern over Cambodia’s crackdown on resistance to authoritarian leader Hun Sen, which has witnessed dozens of activists detained and opposition leaders overseas preventing returning.
Rights group Amnesty International, meanwhile, decried collaboration by Malaysia and Thailand to stop foreign-based Cambodian resistance figures from becoming home to rally support.
Self-exiled resistance party creator Sam Rainsy, who’d pledged to go back to Cambodia on Saturday to lead demonstrations against one-party rule, stated he was averted on Thursday by checking-in to get a trip from Paris to Bangkok.
A day before, Malaysia arrested his banned opposition party’s U.S.-based vice president, Mu Sochua, in an airport before releasing her 24 hours afterward and two other Cambodian resistance leaders who were arrested earlier as they attempted to board a trip to Thailand.
At least 48 resistance activists in Cambodia have been detained this year because Sam Rainsy declared plans to reunite on Nov. 9 — Cambodia’s liberty — to rally resistance to Prime Minister contrary to Hun Sen.
“These activities represent an escalation in suppression of their political resistance,” she added.
Hun Sen, who’s ruled Cambodia for at least three years, has clarified the projected yield of resistance leaders overseas as a bid to stage a coup d’etat.
Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s research manager for Southeast Asia, contested the actions by nations in the area to obstruct opposition leaders and activists from traveling home.
“Cambodia’s neighbors shouldn’t bow to Hun Sen’s pressures,” she explained.
“Malaysia was appropriate to launch Mu Sochua along with her two compatriots. But they should not have been arrested in the first location.”
Cambodia’s Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP in 2017, paving the way for Hun Sen’s ruling party to win most of the seats in parliament at a general election this past year.