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Rights groups condemns Kem Sokha’s 27-year sentence

Rights groups condemns Kem Sokha’s 27-year sentence

Rights groups condemns Kem Sokha’s 27-year sentence

Rights groups condemns Kem Sokha’s 27-year sentence

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  • Kem Sokha was sentenced to 27 years under house arrest for treason.
  • Sparking criticism from rights groups and Western countries.
  • Hun Sen has complete influence over Cambodia’s courts.
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At a trial that many claimed was politically motivated, Cambodia‘s most prominent opposition leader was given a sentence of 27 years under house arrest.

Kem Sokha, the previous head of the CNRP, which is no longer in existence, has also been prohibited from running for office or casting a ballot in the election scheduled for July.

Charges that he engaged in a plot to topple Prime Minister Hun Sen’s administration are denied by him.

According to his attorneys, he intends to contest his treason conviction.

The court’s decision on Friday received harsh criticism from rights groups and Western countries.

Kem Sokha was originally detained in 2017 as a result of a 2013 video in which he claimed to have backing from American pro-democracy organizations.

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The US embassy claimed that the conviction was a “miscarriage of justice” and that the case had been “founded on a manufactured plot”.

With regard to “the foundation of the charges and the conduct of the trial,” the UN Human Rights Commissioner appealed for Kem Sokha’s release.

Hun Sen, the president of Cambodia, has been in charge since 1985 and is one of the world’s longest-serving autocrats.

Though some think he intends to cede control to his eldest son, Hun Manet, others anticipate him to run again in the country’s general election in July.

Rights organizations called attention to the current deterioration of democratic processes in Cambodia on Friday.

“It was obvious from the start that the charges against Kem Sokha were nothing but a politically motivated ploy by Prime Minister Hun Sen to sideline Cambodia’s major opposition leader and eliminate the country’s democratic system,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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“Sending Kem Sokha to prison isn’t just about destroying his political party, but about squashing any hope that there can be a genuine general election in July.”

Observers claimed that the outcome had been anticipated. Many people in Cambodia believe that Prime Minister Hun Sen has complete influence over the country’s courts.

Former human rights defender Kem Sokha was the leader of the Cambodian National Rescue Party. Its support soared during previous elections to the point where Hun Sen and his party were in danger of losing.

A ban on his party was imposed before the 2018 election. The majority of its leaders have either faced legal action or been sent into exile.

Moreover, Hun Sen-hating media outlets have been shut down.

Hun Sen closed down Voice of Democracy, one of the remaining independent media channels in the nation, last month, claiming that it had published an article attacking his son and harming the government’s reputation.

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