Cambodia Begins Mass Trial of Dissidents, Opposition Figures

The trials of the 129 defendants, many of them former members of a banned opposition party, could drag on for months.

Amid tight security and backed by small crowds of supporters wearing face masks, 129 Cambodian dissidents have gone on trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, where they could face up to 12 years behind bars if convicted of treason.

The trial follows a roundup of government critics, in particular, supporters of the banned Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and its leader in exile Sam Rainsy, who resides in France.

The hearing on Thursday was short-lived, as judges confirmed proceedings would be lengthy and divided the cases into two lots to be heard in January and March next year. The trial was then adjourned.

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