More Than 20 Opposition Activists Remain Detained in Cambodia Despite Order For Release

More than 20 activists from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who voiced support for the return of party chief Sam Rainsy from exile remain in detention one week after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered them released on bail, a lawyer said Wednesday.

At least 88 CNRP activists—according to RFA’s count—had been arrested since the party announced in August Sam Rainsy’s intention to return to Cambodia on Nov. 9 to lead a restoration of democracy through nonviolent protests, which Hun Sen’s government had labeled part of a “coup attempt.”

Sam Sokong, a lawyer for the activists, told RFA’s Khmer Service that 16 of his clients remain in detention, in addition to at least four others represented by other attorneys. The subjects of cases forwarded to an appeals court or that went to trial are not eligible for release, he said, while those of cases that judges don’t view as politically motivated also will not be freed.

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