lørdag 4. mars 2023

Kem Sokha: Rights groups condemn Cambodia opposition leader's 27-year sentence

Cambodia's most prominent opposition leader has been sentenced to 27 years under house arrest in a trial critics said was politically motivated. Kem Sokha, the former leader of the now-dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), has also been barred from standing or voting in July's election. He denies charges he conspired with foreign powers to overthrow Prime Minister Hun Sen's government. His lawyers said he plans to appeal his treason conviction.

Rights groups and Western governments strongly criticised the court's verdict on Friday. Kem Sokha was first arrested in 2017, based on a 2013 video where he said he had received support from US pro-democracy groups. The US embassy said the case had been "based on a fabricated conspiracy" and the conviction was a "miscarriage of justice". The UN's Human Rights Commissioner also called for Kem Sokha's release, saying he was concerned with "the basis of the charges and the conduct of the trial".