Cambodia accused of rights violations under pandemic cover

Critics say Hun Sen ignored Covid-19 so as not to jeopardize Cambodia's close ties with China.

Cambodia’s government has been using the coronavirus pandemic as cover to make arbitrary arrests of opposition political leaders and its critics, says a US-based human rights organization.

The government has detained at least 30 people for spreading “fake news” since the start of the outbreak in the country in January, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on April 29.

Initially reluctant to respond to the coronavirus threat, Cambodia’s long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen is now using the pandemic as cover to crack down on his perceived enemies, the rights group said.

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