Cambodia Must End Crackdown on Opposition Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Rights Group

Cambodia’s government must end a crackdown on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that has seen 15 former officials and activists detained on “fabricated political charges” since the coronavirus outbreak reached the country in January, a rights group said Wednesday.

In addition to the 15 former CNRP officials and activists, another 80 people released on bail face re-arrest at any time, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement, calling on authorities to immediately release 32 prisoners and pretrial detainees—including 23 opposition members—it claimed are being held on politically motivated charges.

“The Cambodian government should stop using the world’s attention on the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to crack down on the opposition,” deputy Asia director at HRW Phil Robertson said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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