Cambodian opposition leader Mu Sochua arrested in Kuala Lumpur

Vice president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), a political group dissolved by Phnom Penh in 2017. Sochua wanted to return home the day after tomorrow, along with the founder of the Party. Last week, Thailand denied her entry on her arrival in Bangkok. "The regime fears the determination of the Cambodians".

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Malaysian authorities have arrested a senior official of the Cambodian opposition party, after neighboring Thailand blocked her request to return to Cambodia and Phnom Penh called for her arrest.

Mu Sochua (photo), 65, is the vice president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) - political formation dissolved by the Supreme Court in 2017.

Malaysian security forces blocked the woman at the capital's airport yesterday, before her repatriation. This was scheduled for the day after tomorrow along with that of the party's founder, Sam Rainsy.

The politician announced that he will return to his homeland along with senior members of the CNRP on the 66th anniversary of Cambodian independence from France; he has promised that he will lead the "restoration of democracy" in the country, where Prime Minister Hun Sen has ruled for 34 years.

"At the moment, [Mu Sochua] is in the immigration office of the airport," says Jerald Joseph, a member of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission. Joseph declares that he spoke yesterday with Sochua, whom the authorities have assured will not be deported to Cambodia.

It remains unclear where the vice-president of the CNRP will be transferred. Last week, Thailand rejected Sochua on her arrival in Bangkok. Later, the woman flew to Indonesia. Yesterday, the Cambodian Embassy in Jakarta requested her arrest, after the woman had held a press conference.

This year, Phnom Penh arrested at least 48 opposition activists, accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Fearing they would end up in jail, dozens of opponents fled the country, but promised to return to support Rainsy.

At the Jakarta conference, questioned about how the Cambodian government felt about the return of activists, Sochua said: "What are they afraid of? They absolutely fear the determination of the Cambodian people, who are responding positively to our appeal. This is: "Together, we will build a better Cambodia". "