UK foreign secretary urged to raise arrest of activists during Cambodia visit

Dominic Raab due to hold talks with Prak Sokhonn as part of efforts to expand diplomatic and trade ties in south-east Asia.

Human rights groups have called on the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, to intervene over the detention of three young environmental activists when he meets Cambodian leaders on Wednesday in efforts to build trade ties between the two countries.

The activists, who were arrested at the weekend, face up to 10 years in jail for insulting the Cambodian king. Their case has been raised by environmental activist Greta Thunberg and NGO groups in the country.

Raab is due to meet the Cambodian foreign minister, Prak Sokhonn, to set out the UK’s bid for “Asean [Association of South-east Asian Nations] dialogue partnership” status before Cambodia takes up the chair of Asean next year. The UK is trying to expand its trade and security ties in south-east Asia in the wake of Brexit, but will also be pressing Asean to take a more interventionist stance on the crisis in Myanmar.

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