Cambodia Urged to Drop Charges Against Former RFA Journalists

Rights groups and the U.S. Embassy on Thursday called for the Cambodian government to drop the charges against two former Radio Free Asia reporters who were arrested in 2017 and released on bail a year ago.

The calls came to mark the second anniversary of the Nov. 14, 2017, arrest of former Radio Free Asia journalists Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin as part of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s crackdown on the media, civil society groups and the political opposition before the 2018 elections. The two faced espionage charges, and on Oct. 3, when Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Im Vannak had been scheduled to deliver a verdict after a trial that ended in August, he instead ordered a fresh investigation into hard disk drives seized when they were arrested.

After their arrest, the former reporters were held in pretrial detention until 2018, when they were released on conditional bail, which prevented them from traveling overseas and required them to report to a local police station once a month.

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