Published: Mon, November 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Cambodia eases restraint on opposition politician

Cambodia eases restraint on opposition politician

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy flew into Malaysia on Saturday, saying his campaign to challenge Prime Minister Hun Sen was "on the right track" even though he made it only part way in his return from exile.

Amnesty International denounced collaboration by Malaysia and Thailand to stop foreign-based Cambodian resistance figures from becoming home. There also are bad feelings between their respective supporters because of Kem Sokha's willingness to stay in Cambodia while Sam Rainsy has been in self-imposed exile since 2015. I do not deny, I do not confirm'.

Cambodia's opposition leader has given up his plan to return to his country as it celebrated National Independence Day on Saturday. He and other leaders of his banned opposition party have said they want to return to Cambodia by crossing the land border with Thailand. Security has been tightened on both sides of the Thailand-Cambodia border to prevent any attempts by opposition figures to cross.

He had been barred from entering Cambodia, but Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said in a Facebook post that he was now welcome to return but would have to face justice in several concluded and pending legal cases.

'We will be returning as soon as possible, ' Saory Pon, general secretary of the Cambodia National Rescue Party Overseas told Reuters, complaining that some party officials in Thailand had been harassed and followed by security services.

Sam Rainsy faces 18 years in prison from earlier court rulings.

"If he comes to cause instability and chaos, we will destroy him", he told Reuters.

In an email to RFA, an embassy spokesperson said that the U.S.is "deeply concerned" by expanding arrests, harassment, and intimidation of members of the CNRP, and by efforts to thwart the return of citizens seeking peaceful participation in the country's political process-actions they labeled "an escalation in the suppression of the political opposition". The Cambodia Nationwide Rescue Celebration skilled mounted an unexpectedly sturdy impediment within the 2013 election.

Police armed with assault rifles lined at Cambodia's Poipet border crossing with Thailand, at which Sam Rainsy had stated he meant to cross, photos posted on Twitter from the independent Cambodian Center for Human Rights revealed.

The charges have not been lifted, however, and he remains banned from politics or leaving Cambodia.

The 70-year-old former finance minister has been an opponent of Hun Sen since the 1990s.

The opposition party announced in August that Sam Rainsy will return to Cambodia on November 9-the country's Independence Day-to lead a restoration of democracy, calling on supporters and members of Cambodia's armed forces to join him, but Hun Sen has labeled the plan part of a rebellion and has vowed to arrest the opposition leader on sight.

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha (66) was released from house arrest, on Sunday.

After being blocked from getting on a France-Thailand flight on Thursday, Rainsy boarded a plane a day later and arrived at the main airport serving the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, according to an AFP journalist.

Speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review earlier on Saturday, senior CNRP member Mu Sochua, who arrived in Malaysia on Wednesday and was detained by immigration authorities for 24 hours before being released, declined to give specifics about the group's plans, citing safety concerns.

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