EU to pull Cambodia trade privileges over human rights concerns

Cambodia is bracing for the European Union to take away trade privileges on Wednesday over human rights concerns about how its government handled a political crackdown two years ago.

The 27-member bloc warned officials in Phnom Penh a year ago the nation could be at least partly suspended from the Everything But Arms, or EBA initiative, which allows Cambodia and 46 other lesser-developed nations to export all goods but weapons to the EU tax-free.

The punishment is a response to Cambodia’s move two years ago to arrest opposition leader Kem Sokha, as well as activists and journalists, on accusations of treason. Sokha’s party eventually dissolved while he was in custody.

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