On Friday, Kem Sokha, formerly Cambodia's most prominent opposition leader of the now-dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), was sentenced to 27 years under house arrest after being convicted of treason.
The sentence brings an end to a three-year trial in which a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge ruled that both Sokha's election campaigns and work in civil society were intended to create a "colour revolution."
The decision by the Cambodian justice system once again shows a jaw-dropping lack of justice based on politically motivated charges. Sokha has endured a physically and psychologically taxing ordeal that will only continue while under house arrest. The Cambodian government must drop the fabricated charges and release him immediately.
While Cambodia is a supporter of the defense and maintenance of human rights, Sokha's attempts to derail the legitimate sovereignty of the nation's leadership via foreign influence cannot be tolerated. House arrest is a perfectly justified punishment as a means of defending the peace and prosperity of the nation.