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Cambodia joins list of growing autocracies in midst of "defamation" trial
Tuesday 7 February 2017 13:02

In its most brazen attempt to disempower Cambodia’s Liberal opposition, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP – LI full member), the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, has threatened to seize the CNRP’s headquarters and assets.

This latest provocation against the liberals comes amid trumped up allegations of defamation from CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy, against the prime minister. In addition to seizing the liberals’ assets, Hun Sen warned that he would like to see Mr Sam barred from leading a political party.

Under Hun Sen, Cambodia joins a growing list of autocrats seeking to consolidate power and remove dissenting voices from democratic discourse. Writing from self-imposed exile in France, Mr. Sam responded to the intimidation: “Hun Sen can no longer appeal to electorate, so personally hounds me, as symbol of resistance to autocratic, corrupt power.” That Hun Sen appears so confident of his victory indicates the extent to which the judiciary is also falling victim to the premier’s power grab.

Adding to the international pressure mounting against Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen,  both LI cooperating organisation, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), and the United States’ State Department issued statements in 2015 expressing grave concern at the political developments in Cambodia.

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