Cambodia: No Release for Opposition Leader Kem Sokha

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha has spent more than 18 month in detention as of Sunday, with other opposition leaders decrying his case as politically motivated and arguing that his continued detention goes against Cambodian laws.

Sokha, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested on Sept. 3, 2017, on charges of treason, accused of conspiring with the United States to topple Cambodia’s government. The evidence his accusers have presented so far is a publicly available video in which Sokha talks about receiving U.S. assistance for his political career. After more than a year in prison, he was released on bail but put under court supervision, practically amounting to house arrest. He is not allowed to leave the immediate vicinity of his house, speak to other opposition members – including his daughters – nor be in contact with foreigners.

Although Cambodian law only allows for a maximum of 18 months of pre-trial detention, which would have expired on Sunday, the court argues that he is technically on bail and can therefore be kept under court supervision indefinitely.

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