Self-exiled Cambodian opposition party creator Sam Rainsy said on Wednesday he’ll return on Saturday to face arrest amid a crackdown in the home on members of the prohibited celebration and Malaysia’s detention of two-party activists hoping to reunite.
The former finance minister has pledged to come back to direct demonstrations against the one-party principle of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen, whom he called”a brutal dictator”.
His return might be thwarted by Thailand, whose prime minister said that he wouldn’t be permitted entrance en route to Cambodia.
“For those who know me personally, this could just be the final time you may see me living as a free person,” Sam Rainsy said in a video message posted on Twitter.
Hun Sen has accused the opposition of fomenting a coup, and his administration has detained at least 48 activists using Sam Rainsy’s banned opposition party this season. The celebration’s last boss remains under house arrest on treason charges.
Sam Rainsy fled to France four decades ago after a conviction for criminal defamation. Also, he faces a prison sentence in a different case.
He denies wrongdoing and says that the charges were politically motivated.
Sam Rainsy on Wednesday tweeted a photograph of his airline ticket from Paris to Bangkok, from where he’d travel to Thailand’s border crossing Cambodia. Hun Sen has ordered airlines to not let him board flights to Phnom Penh.
“By our dedication to ASEAN, we’re not going to permit an anti-government individual to utilize Thailand for activism,” Prayuth told reporters when asked about Sam Rainsy.
“I’ve purchased this so that he likely will not get “
Thailand last week switched off Mu Sochua, the CNRP’s vice president when she flew to Bangkok’s main global airport.
Mu Sochua afterward flew into Indonesia, in which the Cambodian embassy on Wednesday asked her be detained after she tried to maintain a press conference.
Dozens of other opposition activists who fled Cambodia fearing arrest have pledged to reunite in service of Sam Rainsy.
On Monday, Malaysian police detained two activists waiting to board a trip to Thailand.