Cambodia accused of using Covid to edge towards ‘totalitarian dictatorship’

Cambodians who break Covid rules could face 20 years in prison under a new law that human rights groups say takes the country “a step towards a totalitarian dictatorship”.

Prime minister Hun Sen warned that Cambodia was “on the brink of death” as a two-week lockdown was imposed in Phnom Penh on Thursday to try to control the spread of the virus.

The law means those convicted could face fines of up to $5,000 (£3,627) as well as prison terms, and grants the government the power to ban or restrict any gathering or demonstration indefinitely.

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