‘Cambodia uses crisis to nab critics’


  • Cambodia
  • Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020

The Cambodian government has used the Covid-19 outbreak to lock up opposition activists and others expressing concern about the virus and the government’s response, US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

Seventeen people were arrested since late January for sharing information on the virus in Cambodia, including four members or supporters of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, HRW said yesterday.

They were charged with penal code violations including incitement, conspiracy, and spreading false information, the group said.

The arrests included a 14-year-old girl who expressed fears on social media about rumours of Covid-19 cases at her school and in her province, HRW said.

Twelve were released from detention after signing pledges not to spread “fake news” and to apologise, the group said.

“The Cambodian government is misusing the outbreak to lock up activists and others expressing concern about the virus and the government’s response, ” said Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asia director. — Reuters

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