Cambodian opposition figure Thach Setha jailed for three years

PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian court docket on Wednesday jailed a senior opposition determine for 3 years over his social media submit discussing the disputed historical past of the autumn of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
The ultra-Maoist regime left about two million Cambodians useless from overwork, hunger, sickness and mass executions from 1975-79.
Cambodia’s ruling celebration commemorates January 7 as “Victory Day”, marking the liberation of the nation from the Khmer Rouge’s rule, however opposition activists describe it as the beginning of Vietnam’s decade-long occupation of Cambodia.
Thach Setha, a vice chairman of the opposition Candlelight Celebration, in January posted a video to Fb discussing the politically delicate historical past of January 7, however his important feedback drew the ire of authorities accusing him of incitement forward of the July election.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Courtroom on Wednesday discovered Thach Setha responsible of two incitement costs.
He was sentenced to a few years in jail and ordered to pay a $1,000 advantageous, his lawyer Sam Sokong informed AFP.
“The defence workforce is disenchanted with the ruling as a result of it’s an unjust conviction,” he mentioned, including that his workforce would seek the advice of with Thach Setha about whether or not to enchantment.
In January, Thach Setha was additionally arrested for allegedly issuing unhealthy cheques and acquired an 18-month jail sentence in that case final month.
Authorities critics say that case was politically motivated as a result of he was taken into custody forward of the nation’s election which the ruling celebration received by a landslide.
The ruling Cambodian Folks’s Celebration received all however 5 of 125 seats within the decrease home in July polls that had been broadly dismissed as a sham after the Candlelight Celebration was barred from working over registration technicalities.
Rights teams have accused former prime minister Hun Sen — who dominated Cambodia for practically 4 a long time — of utilizing the authorized system to crush any opposition to his rule.
Hun Sen stepped down in August and handed the management baton to his eldest son, Hun Manet.
Thach Setha is the primary opposition determine to face felony convictions since Hun Manet got here to energy.
Scores of opposition politicians and activists had been convicted and jailed throughout Hun Sen’s time in energy.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, mentioned the federal government’s repression of opposition activists had not ceased since Hun Manet turned premier.
“This conviction is but extra proof that the Cambodian authorities won’t relaxation till it has damaged and buried the Candlelight Celebration and its leaders,” Robertson mentioned, calling Thach Setha’s sentence over important feedback “ludicrous and outrageous”.

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