Cambodia: Mass Trial of Opposition Members Charged with Treason

    Photo: AP [via The Star]

    The Facts

    • On Thursday, 37 defendants associated with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) were summoned to a court in the capital, Phnom Penh, on charges of treason, marking the third mass trial of opponents of the long-ruling PM Hun Sen.

    • Only three defendants were physically present, as the rest are reportedly either in exile or hiding, with former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and several top leaders of the disbanded CNRP among those absent. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Hun Sen and the CPP's attacks on the opposition are just another example of their authoritarian inclinations. Cambodia is now essentially a one-party state, as the CCP has full control of the government, and Hun Sen has turned himself into an autocrat after more than 30 years of ruling the country.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Though these moves against the opposition may seem extreme, they're necessary to keep Cambodia stable. CNRP leaders have attempted to return to the country to destabilize Cambodian politics and overthrow the government, inciting military and social unrest and planning illegal activities.

    Establishment split



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