Arrests of Activists Backing Return of Cambodia’s Opposition Chief to Continue: Interior Minister

Authorities in Cambodia have no plans to end the arrests of banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) activists who express support for party chief Sam Rainsy’s planned return from self-imposed exile next month, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng warned Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Phnom Penh, Sar Kheng said that CNRP acting president Sam Rainsy’s intention to lead protests against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government on his return amounts to “plotting a coup,” and that anyone who backs him will face legal action.

“If they act on Sam Rainsy’s orders, that is illegal,” he said, claiming that a string of arrests targeting activists who voiced their support for the opposition leader in recent weeks does not constitute a restriction of their freedom of expression or a form of intimidation.

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