Cambodian Authorities Arrest Three More Opposition Activists as Crackdown Continues

Authorities in Cambodia arrested three more activists from the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Thursday, accusing two of them of plotting a coup after they voiced support for the planned return from self-imposed exile of the party’s acting president, Sam Rainsy.

Police in Kampong Cham province arrested activists Ly Kimheang and On Saven at their homes for “gathering and disseminating information about a plan to topple the government,” according to provincial prosecutor Huot Vuthy, and making plans to join Sam Rainsy for his return to Cambodia on Nov. 9 to lead what the CNRP chief says will be a “restoration of democracy” through peaceful protests.

A fellow CNRP activist in Kampong Cham named Kong Sivong told RFA’s Khmer Service that Ly Kimheang and On Saven are “innocent and haven’t committed any crimes,” suggesting that they were arrested because they refused to defect to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) after the Supreme Court banned the opposition in November 2017 for its role in an alleged plot to overthrow the government.

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