GENEVA (8 March 2023) – The verdict of treason against Cambodia opposition leader Kem Sokha would have a chilling effect on political activism and freedom of expression in the country ahead of July national elections, UN experts* warned today.

“We believe the conviction against Mr. Sokha is politically motivated and further evidence of an ongoing pattern of the misapplication of laws to target political opponents and any critic of the Government,” the experts said.

Sokha was convicted on charges of conspiracy with a foreign power or treason, in relation to a 2013 speech he delivered in Australia that was broadcast by the Cambodian Broadcasting Network (CBN). He was sentenced to 27-years under house arrest and has also been barred from contesting or voting in the July 2023 elections.

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