Cambodia puts 121 opposition figures on trial for treason

A Cambodian court has begun hearings in the treason trial of more than 100 members and backers of Cambodia’s opposition and then deferred proceedings until next year, delaying a case widely condemned as a move by long-serving premier Hun Sen to crush his political rivals.

A total of 121 defendants, all tied to the forcibly dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), were summoned to appear on Thursday, but just 34 showed up, with many in exile, convinced they would not get a fair hearing.

Virtually all the defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit treason and incitement to commit a felony, which together carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, according to defence lawyers and human rights activists.

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