The Collateral Damage of the Hun Manet Charm Offensive

Who stands to lose the most as the world welcomes the next generation of Cambodian kleptocrats?

Thai police rush into Kork Seim’s home in Rayong, Thailand just after 5p.m. on Friday afternoon. She is quickly rounded up along with her husband and their children, aged 2 and 4, and shuffled into a waiting car with no explanation.

Despite their status as UNHCR people of concern, Seim and her family are sent directly to the Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok for deportation processing. If they are returned to Cambodia, they will face certain political persecution. They are exiles in Thailand fleeing the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) government. The CPP, for the entirety of its 45-year death grip on the country, has dealt harshly with any who dare raise their voice in opposition. As a member of the Candlelight Party, blocked from running in the months prior to last year’s general elections, Seim’s husband is guilty of just that.

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