HomeTop StoriesCambodian court docket jails American lawyer, dozens of others for treason Gadgetfee

Cambodian court docket jails American lawyer, dozens of others for treason Gadgetfee

Theary Seng, a Cambodian-American lawyer and human rights activist, was amongst greater than 100 individuals affiliated with the dissolved Cambodia Nationwide Rescue Celebration (CNRP) charged with treason and incitement.

The court docket in Phnom Penh sentenced Theary Seng to 6 years in jail and ordered her arrest, her lawyer advised reporters.

“This isn’t acceptable and I’ll meet her in jail to debate interesting,” the lawyer Chuong Choungy stated exterior the court docket, noting she was amongst about 60 co-defendants who had been sentenced to between 5 to eight years in jail.

Theary Seng had arrived at court docket dressed because the Statue of Liberty with a symbolic chain round her, and saying she anticipated to be discovered responsible.

After the decision, she was bundled right into a police pickup truck after the decision, sparking scuffles between officers and her supporters.

Theary Seng stands outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday.

The verdicts are more likely to renew worldwide concern about Cambodia’s veteran prime minister, Hun Sen, and what his critics say has been elimination, over a few years, of opposition to his rule. Hun Sen denies persecuting his opponents.

US embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier stated the US was “deeply troubled by at the moment’s unjust verdicts”.

“America has constantly referred to as on Cambodian authorities to cease politically motivated trials, together with in opposition to US citizen Seng Theary and different human rights defenders, members of the political opposition, journalists, and labour and environmental activists,” Roedemeier advised Reuters.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a news conference at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on September 17, 2021.

‘Autocratic’

The court docket sentenced veteran opposition chief Sam Rainsy, a former finance minister and chief of the CNRP who lives in exile in France, in absentia to eight years in jail.

Earlier than her arrest, Theary Seng spoke of the decision she anticipated, saying it might apply to all Cambodians who “love justice, who love freedom, who’re real democrats”.

“It follows the logic of this autocratic regime to search out me responsible,” she advised reporters.

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Hun Sen has dominated Cambodia for 37 years. He rose to prominence within the Eighties, after the defeat of the Khmer Rouge “killing fields” regime, and cemented his maintain on energy within the Nineties.

The CNRP was banned and its chief Kem Sokha arrested earlier than a 2018 basic election, permitting Hun Sen’s Cambodian Individuals’s Celebration to win each parliamentary seat, and prompting worldwide outrage.

The costs in opposition to Kem Sokha stem from accusations he conspired with the US to overthrow Hun Sen. Kem Sokha and the US reject the accusations.

Human Rights Watch urged overseas governments, the United Nations, and help donors to press Cambodia to quash the convictions and finish a broad assault on the nation’s remaining civic and democratic house.

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