Cambodian rappers await trial for “inciting unrest”

Two Cambodian rappers face charges of inciting social unrest as the government continues its crackdown on dissent. Their cases, like many others in Cambodia, show the reach of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarianism but also point to the growing role of hip-hop in social movements in Southeast Asia.

Between deadly flooding from a tropical storm and the demolition of a US-built naval base, one recent story in Cambodia’s crackdown on dissent has disappeared from headlines.

In September, Cambodian rappers Kea Sokun and Long Puthera were arrested after they released songs that voiced criticism of the government.

The two are reportedly charged with “incitement to commit a felony or cause social unrest” under Penal Code Article 495 and were arrested along with other activists and at least one Buddhist monk.

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