U.N. representatives issued a statement on Friday calling the trial of Kem Sokha, the leader of the outlawed opposition, “tainted by irregularities,” and criticized his arrest without a warrant, arbitrary detention and the lack of public access to trial proceedings.
The statement, issued by three U.N. special rapporteurs — on human rights in Cambodia, freedom of expression and judicial independence — came after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court held the first two days of Sokha’s treason trial on Wednesday and Thursday, more than two years after his arrest. Sokha was arrested in September 2017 and charged with conspiring with a foreign power.
The U.N. statement said Sokha’s arrest disregarded his parliamentary immunity, he was denied access to a lawyer early in his detention and he was held longer than legally permissible in pretrial detention.
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