Protests More Effective in Cambodia Than Politically Influenced Trials: Rights Group, Lawyers

Frustration drives recent peaceful protests by activists that have resulted in a spate of arrests.

Cambodians take to the streets in protest because their country’s justice system lacks independence from the government, according a rights group and defense lawyers, despite claims by officials that the demonstrations are illegal attempts at “putting pressure on the courts.”

Since the beginning of the year, Cambodian authorities have detained or jailed at least 17 members of the banned opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), as well as other activists, on charges of “incitement” after they made comments critical of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership.

The cases have prompted a recent spate of peaceful protests outside of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by family members and supporters calling for their release.

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