The Foreign Affairs Ministry has revoked the passports of 27 more former CNRP officials and activists charged with conspiracy and accused of supporting Sam Rainsy’s failed November 9 return, which was considered a coup plot by the government.
The ministry in a statement issued to embassies and consular missions across the world on November 20 said their passports are now null and void.
“The ministry avails itself of this opportunity to renew to all diplomatic and consular missions accredited to the Kingdom of Cambodia the assurances of its highest consideration,” it said.
Last month, the ministry revoked the passports of 12 former CNRP officials including Rainsy, Mu Sochua and Eng Chhai Eang for conspiring to conduct the alleged coup.
Many of those who had their passports revoked fled the Kingdom after the CNRP was dissolved in 2017, while others escaped court arrest warrants issued against them for supporting Rainsy.
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the ministry, yesterday said the letter also asked foreign countries to deport those who had their passports revoked.
“These groups of people are holding on to ill-intentions to overthrow the government,” Mr Kuong said. “They are in line with Mr Rainsy and cannot be tolerated.”
He noted 72 opposition activists charged for conspiring with Rainsy were released on bail last month after they confessed and denounced the former opposition party leader.
“The authorities will continue to take legal action against opposition supporters and activists who have disrespected the law and supported Mr Rainsy,” Mr Kuong said.
Mounh Sarath, a former CNRP official in exile, yesterday said the ministry is aiming to restrict his movement and prevent other opposition activists from travelling.
Seng Mengbunrong, an activist whose name was on the list, yesterday said he was not surprised about the decision to have passports revoked.
“These [activists] are fighters for democracy and human rights in Cambodia,” Mr Mengbunrong said. “This is nothing strange to me because Cambodia is now ruled by one man.”