Cambodian prison opposition activist deported to Thailand

Police said three opposition activists had been imprisoned in Cambodia for conspiracy and sedition after being deported earlier this month by Thai authorities.

The pre-trial detention of three members of the disbanded opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is in the midst of widespread crackdowns that have begun for the 2018 general election.

Two activists, Voeurn Veasna and Voeung Samnang, were arrested in Thailand on November 8 and transferred to Cambodia the next day.

Wolne was arrested after being found to have posted a poem titled “Hun Sen is a Traitor” under the nickname Klang Hung Playlan on Facebook. Radio Free Asia..

In the poem, Vaughan accused Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen of amending the Constitution, “destroying the country” and allowing the destruction of Cambodian forests while Sen was in power. ..

Sen called the poem an expression of “extremist theory” and demanded arrest.

The third activist and former commune chief, Thavry Lanh, was arrested on November 19 and deported the next day.

The three activists are refugees registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), all of whom live in Thailand.

The Thai government has forcibly returned refugees to Cambodia, despite UNHCR’s attempts to intervene in all three cases.

“We are very wary of this tendency to force refugees back to Cambodia, where they are at serious risk of persecution,” Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, said in a statement. Faced with. “

“Given the recent developments, we are very concerned about the safety of Cambodian refugees recognized by UNHCR in Thailand,” Triggs added.

Bill Frelick, director of refugees and immigration at Human Rights Watch, said the deportation of Thai refugees was “outright ignoring basic refugee protection principles.”

“The Thai government’s actions have contributed to the persecution of political opponents by the Cambodian government, which seems to be spreading across the Cambodian border,” Frerick said in a statement.

A Thai government spokesman defended the move, stating that deportation was in line with Thailand’s foreign policy.

Cambodian police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the three imprisoned activists violated Thai immigration law and Cambodia did not seek deportation.

“They have arrest warrants against them, so when they arrive, we must enact an arrest warrant,” said Chhay Kim Khoeun.

“When I live illegally in Thailand, why is this a violation of human rights? I don’t know. Thailand enforces that law and we enforce our law,” he said. rice field.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Aldograph Redley