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Cambodia: Action against Opposition Party Opens Path to Authoritarian Rule
In response to Cambodia’s Supreme Court decision to outlaw the leading opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on the basis of authorities’ claims that the party was plotting to topple the government, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen is dismantling Cambodia’s democracy, a process it is accelerating with the forced closure of Cambodia’s main opposition party and the silencing of critical voices,” said Robert Herman, senior advisor for policy at Freedom House. “The Prime Minister’s determination to remain in office has already led to the imprisonment of opposition leader Kem Sokha, the closure of the newspaper The Cambodia Daily and several independent radio stations, and actions against the National Democratic Institute and the human rights organization Equitable Cambodia, among other groups. Human rights activists and members of opposition parties, fearing for their safety, have fled the country. The government should release Kem Sokha, reverse its action against the CNRP, and end its harassment of human rights defenders -- or otherwise ruin the prospects for Cambodian democracy.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.