Phnom Penh, opposition leader Kem Sokha released from prison

He was subject to preventive detention since September 2017. If convicted of treason, he risks a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Two months after his arrest, the Supreme Court dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). In the elections of last July, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for 33 years, won an undisputed victory.


Phnom Penh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Cambodian opposition leader, Kem Sokha (photo), was released from prison this morning after a year of detention for "treason". For 33 years in power, Prime Minister Hun Sen had recently started a large crackdown on political opponents in anticipation of last July's elections, which gave his party an undisputed victory. Kem Sokha, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested on September 3, 2017. Two months later, the Supreme Court dissolved the political formation.

Dozens of supporters and journalists gathered outside Kem Sokha's home in the capital, where he returned in the early morning from a remote prison. In an official note, the Court of Phnom Penh declared that the opposition leader was freed from preventive detention, on the condition that "he should not flee from proceedings against him". If convicted of treason, he risks a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. His daughter, Monovithya Kem, reveals that the conditions of the bail provide that the politician is "confined within the radius of a block of his residence", suggesting that his movements will be limited.

On the occasion of the 2013 elections, the CNRP had achieved important results, driven by the significant dissatisfaction of the young Cambodian population. So the party ended up in Hun Sen's sights and many of the main members fled abroad. Kem Sokha's predecessor, Sam Rainsy, lives in exile in Paris to escape a series of accusations that he claims to be politically motivated.

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