Highlights:

  • On March 1, the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh sentenced nine leaders of the opposition in exile to 20 to 25 years of prison. 
  • The nine leaders of the opposition in exile have also been deprived of their political rights to vote and stand in elections.
  • The spokesperson said all Cambodian citizens, irrespective of their political affiliation, should be given the right to a fair trial

The spokesperson of the mass trials said on March 1, as a part of the ongoing mass trials in Cambodia against members of the opposition, activists, supporters, and human rights defenders, the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh sentenced nine leaders of the opposition in exile to 20 to 25 years of prison. 

The nine leaders of the opposition in exile have also been deprived of their political rights to vote and stand in elections. The verdict was pronounced after swift trials conducted in absentia. Permission was not given to the accused to return to their countries to defend their cases in court, which appears to be a violation of due process rights, strictly established by International Human Rights Law. 

The spokesperson said all Cambodian citizens, irrespective of their political affiliation, should be given the right to a fair trial, following the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the rights enshrined in Cambodia’s Constitution. The authorities of Cambodia need to respect the rule of law and due process and ensure the right to political participation and fundamental freedoms are fully respected, including freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. 

The European Union reiterated its call on Cambodian authorities to initiate a process of national reconciliation through genuine and inclusive dialogue, added the spokesperson.  

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