Activists and lawmakers in Southeast Asia are urging ASEAN governments to resist pressure from Phnom Penh to arrest dissidents who enter their territories, as a dismantled Cambodian opposition plans a perilous return to their homeland this weekend after years in political exile.
The calls were made following the detention of Mu Sochua, the vice president of the outlawed Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), by Malaysian authorities upon her arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday, in the latest crackdown on Cambodian activists by ASEAN governments in recent days.
Under the instruction of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodian authorities have issued arrest warrants for CNRP founder Sam Rainsy and other dissidents making their way home through neighboring countries. The government has also deployed troops along the border with Thailand in anticipation of a homecoming march, arguing that the CNRP dissidents are plotting a coup.
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