The European Union notes with great concern the verdict delivered on 3 March by the Municipal Court in Phnom Penh in the case against the leader of the dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha. He has been sentenced to 27 years after a 3 year trial, on charges related to his political activity.
The European Union regrets the continued use of the judiciary to limit space for political opponents, civil society and independent media. This conviction effectively excludes Kem Sokha from participating in political life and therefore continues to deprive Cambodia’s citizens of the right to choose their representatives in inclusive and credible elections, and further restrains the political space in the country.
The European Union reiterates its calls on the Cambodian authorities to immediately release Kem Sokha, to reinstate his political rights, and to create conditions conducive to transparent and credible elections.