Court in Cambodia Sentences Seven Opposition Activists to Jail For ‘Treason’

A court in Cambodia sentenced seven activists with the country’s banned opposition party—including a new mother—to between five and seven years in prison Tuesday for “treason,” as the party’s acting president vowed to return home from self-imposed exile, despite an aborted earlier attempt.

Sam Sokong, the lawyer for the activists from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said the Tboung Khmum Provincial Court handed five of the seven sentences for seven years, while the other two—who had defected to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)—were given five-year suspended sentences.

The seven were tried under Article 453 of Cambodia’s Penal Code for posting comments on Facebook between 2018 and 2019 in support of acting CNRP chief Sam Rainsy’s plan to return to the country from self-imposed exile in Paris, where he has lived since August 2015 to avoid a string of what he says are politically motivated charges and convictions.

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