Cambodian authorities are accelerating their campaign of repression against opposition activists, as the economic impacts of COVID-19 and European sanctions begin to hit home.
On September 20, police swooped on Oeur Narith, a party youth activist for the now-disbanded opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). He has since been charged with raising funds from abroad in an effort to topple the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. An aide to former CNRP deputy leader Mu Sochua, Narith was previously arrested in 2014, following clashes between former opposition supporters and security guards employed by the city authorities. He was released after receiving a royal pardon in 2018.
The activist’s brief detention (he was released on bail on Tuesday afternoon) is just the latest episode in an intensifying phase of repression on the part of Hun Sen’s government, building in turn on several years in which most meaningful opposition has been squeezed out of existence.
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