Cambodian-Americans protest for release of CNRP’s Kem Sokha

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Former CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang took part in the protest. Supplied

The ruling CPP has denounced demonstrations staged in the United States by Cambodian-American citizens to free former CNRP president Kem Sokha and demand the CNRP be allowed to return to politics.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said yesterday that the actions of protesters abroad were an abuse to democracy.

“These demands are abusive. They are contradictory to democratic principles and the rule of law in Cambodia, and are against the spirit of the Paris Accord of 1991,” he said.

Video clips of CNRP supporters suggest that hundreds of Cambodian-American came from 30 states to gather in front of the White House in Washington DC on December 10.

They carried banners reading “Free Kem Sokha” and chanted “We want democracy in Cambodia”.

Among the protesters were ten former CNRP lawmakers and exiled NGOs officials.

Present at the protest were Pa Nguon Teang, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media, Sia Phearum, director of the Housing Rights Task Force, But Buntenh, founder of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, and Leu Lay Sreng, former deputy prime minister, who was sued by Mr Hun Sen and the Funcipec party over his alleged defamation of the King and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Former CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang took part in the protest. Supplied

Eng Chhay Eang, one of the CNRP lawmakers who joined the demonstration, told RFA the purpose of the protest was to ask the American government to put pressure on Mr Hun Sen to free Mr Sokha and allow the CNRP to join the 2018 election.

Cambodian-Australians also held a protest last week to ask for Mr Sokha’s release. The protest was attended by Mu Sochua, former CNRP vice-president.

Mr Eysan said that Mr Sokha and the CNRP were both guilty of treason, and therefore no one should ask for Mr Sokha’s release or the party’s return to politics.

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