How the US Can Help Cambodians Restore Their Country’s Democracy

The total lockdown of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and the surrounding area, which began on April 15, has affected more than 2 million people. During the lockdown, the area was divided into yellow, orange, and red zones, based on the number of people that tested positive for COVID-19. In the first three months of the current outbreak, more than 20,000 cases have been reported, along with 159 deaths.

The lockdown was implemented less than 24 hours after a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen, in which he referred to a city-wide lockdown, was leaked to the public, sending thousands to rush to shops to buy supplies with the little savings they had. In addition to the draconian COVID-19 laws, Hun Sen’s regime also issued administrative measures that included armed military police patrolling the colored zones, allowed private security guards with batons and sticks to punish those who crossed the blockades, and involved the imposition of heavy fines.

More than 500 people have been arrested, detained, charged, or “re-educated” for expressing their concerns or opinions related to the strict measures, the COVID-19 virus, or the China-made vaccines used by the government, which were purchased before the shots were even approved by the World Health Organization.

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