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19th of October 2018

Cambodia



Dissident Cambodian Flees Country After Release From Jail After New Legal Threats

PHNOM PENH — 

A Cambodian court has issued a summons to a dissident political analyst who was recently released from prison over public defamation and incitement.

Kim Sok, 38, an independent political analyst, was released from prison after being detained in February 2017 on similar charges. After his release following the July national election, a judge issued a warning to Sok for continuing to criticize Prime Minister Hun Sen.

A warrant issued by Judge Leang Samnat said he was being investigated for “public defamation” and “incitement to commit a crime” without mentioning who he is alleged to have defamed.

Sok was called to appear in court on September 14, but Sok said the case was intended to silence a prominent critic of Hun Sen’s rule and he had fled the country with his daughter after receiving warnings that she was in danger of being targeted.

He said Hun Sen “uses whatever tactics he can use to avoid abasement.”

A ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Sok was sentenced in August 2017 and freed after 18 months behind bars. He had accused the CPP of being behind the assassination of fellow analyst Kem Ley. He was also ordered to pay $200,000 in “damages” to the party.

He continued to criticize the CPP after being freed.

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