Cambodia begins mass ‘show trial’ of opposition figures and activists

Critics claim the prime minister has exploited the pandemic to crack down on opponents.

Cambodia has begun a mass trial of politicians and activists, in what human rights groups described as an attempt by the country’s leader to wipe out his remaining opposition while the world is focused on fighting Covid-19.

At least 136 people, nearly all affiliated with the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue party, face charges of treason, incitement and other crimes, according to the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights, a campaign group of south-east Asian MPs.

Cambodian authorities outlawed the party in 2017 after putting Kem Sokha, its president, on trial for treason.

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