Hun Sen cracks down on Cambodia’s slow boiling pot of dissent

Authorities step up campaign of repression as economy reels from COVID fallout.

Cambodian authorities are stepping up an increasingly violent campaign of repression against activists, openly admitting they seek to crush small-scale peaceful protests to suppress a larger uprising.

At least 24 activists have been arrested since July 31. One woman was dragged by her hair into an unmarked black Lexus, while another was seized after leaving a United Nations building where she sought refuge, according to human rights monitors.

Determined to snuff out such dissent, Cambodian authorities have targeted small demonstrations by youth activists, environmental campaigners and family members of imprisoned opposition politicians. Police have defrocked and detained a Buddhist monk for protesting, and seized two young rappers for political songs.

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