The Cambodian government should end its crackdown on the political opposition carried out since the outbreak of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today.
From January through June 2020, Cambodian authorities have detained 15 people on fabricated political charges. Another 80 people released on bail face re-arrest at any time. The authorities should immediately release 32 prisoners and pretrial detainees held on politically motivated charges, including 23 members of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Donors and other concerned governments should publicly call on Prime Minister Hun Sen to release all political prisoners and detainees.
“The Cambodian government should stop using the world’s attention on the Covid-19 pandemic as cover to crack down on the opposition,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Concerned governments should make it clear that Prime Minister Hun Sen can’t hide behind a deadly virus to commit rampant rights violations.”