UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith, as part of her 11-day visit to the country, met Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana to discuss the ongoing de-facto detention of opposition leader Kem Sokha and other justice system-related topics, she said on Thursday.
After the meeting with the justice minister, Smith was quizzed by reporters on whether she had specifically discussed Kem Sokha. The leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party is being held under house arrest in Phnom Penh after being released from prison on Sept. 10, 2018, a year after he was arrested on treason charges widely seen as politically motivated.
The release of the former CNRP president from pre-trial detention carries the conditions that he must stay within a block radius of his home, cannot meet with former CNRP officials or foreigners, and cannot speak at or host any rallies or political activities. The government banned the CNRP two months after Kem Sokha’s arrest, sending many party members into exile.