Cambodia: Political Prisoner Releases Just a Start

The Cambodian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Cambodia’s more than 60 political prisoners remaining in custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Between November 5 and 12, 2021, the authorities released 26 political prisoners but did not drop the charges against them, making them subject to future arrest and imprisonment.

Among those released were political, environmental, and youth activists, including members of the group Mother Nature Cambodia, Khmer Thavrak, opposition party activists, the union leader Rong Chhun, and “Friday Women” protesters. However, the authorities imposed various probationary conditions on those released, including regular reporting; limits on freedom of movement; prohibitions on associating with other released prisoners; and other restrictions on activities and rights. Violating these conditions could result in prompt rearrest and return to prison, yet several activists told the media that they would continue their peaceful activism.

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