Four United Nations experts have written a joint letter to Cambodia’s Foreign Minister expressing concerns over the public intimidation early this year of a local rights group official after he spoke out against the arrests of activists who criticized the government’s coronavirus response.
The U.N. letter in response to arrests in March was released as the wives and family members of jailed activists from Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) continue to stage weekly protests for their freedom—nearly three years after the government launched a crackdown the led to a ban on the opposition party.
On March 31, Prime Minister Hun Sen said at a press conference that Am Sam Ath, the deputy director of Licadho, had criticized the government for arresting people selling fake tests and medicine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He alleged that Am Sam Ath’s comments made him criminally liable as an accomplice to the sellers and warned him that he could face arrest.
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