Another Mass Trial: 34 CNRP Activists Summoned for Plotting

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Cambodian ambassador Hor Nambora speaks at a press conference in Jakarta on November 6, 2019 as CNRP vice president Mu Sochua, right, looks on, in a video posted online by Amanda Hodge, a correspondent for The Australian.

More than 30 former CNRP leaders and activists face another trial for plotting charges related to the failed return attempt of party vice president Mu Sochua in 2020.

According to summonses dated August 19, a total of 34 people were summoned to trial for plotting on September 15 at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. The list of names include eight overseas CNRP leaders Sam Rainsy, Ho Vann, Mu Sochua, Eng Chhai Eang, Ou Chanrith, Long Ry, Men Sothavarin and Nuth Romduol.

Defense lawyer Sam Sokong said the summonses related to Sochua’s attempt to return to the country in 2020. Sochua wanted to return to the country to face trial on a number of previous charges, but the government did not issue her a visa. The government has canceled her and other senior opposition leaders’ Cambodian passports.

Sokong said the 34 former CNRP leaders and activists were due to be tried on September 15. The lawyer said already-jailed opposition members, such as Kong Mas and Khan Bunpheng, were linked to this trial, whereas other former CNRP officials like Ir Chana, Voeun Veasna and Voeung Samnang were involved but would be tried separately.

The country has seen a series of mass trials against activists from the main opposition CNRP, which was outlawed in 2017 after a strong showing at that year’s commune election.

Meanwhile, 14 CNRP prisoners were transferred on Monday from Phnom Penh to Tbong Khmum province’s Correctional Center 3, according to Ouk Chanthy, the wife of one of the prisoners Yim Sareth.

Chanthy said the relocated prisoners were Long Phary, Khut Chroek, Ngin Phea, Yim Sareth, Nhem Van, Sok Chantha, Khim Pheana, Thai Sokunthea, Keo Thai, Piet Mab, Sun Thon, Chum Chan, Kong Sam An and Tum Bunthorn.

Nuth Savna, spokesperson for the Prisons Department, said on Monday that around 50 people had been transferred from Prey Sar prison to Correctional Center 3, including former CNRP members and activists. He said the transfers were routine.

The 34 activists summoned to trial are:

Sam RainsyMao Vibol
Ho VannSot Silat
Mu SochuaKhin Samorn
Eang Chhai EangChhun Van
Ou ChanrithChham Sophorn
Long RyKhin Chamroeun
Men SothavarinKhlaing Bun Lay
Nuth RumduolAth Vichet
Tor NimolHay Vanna
Phorn PhannaVann Narith
Sor ChandethTioulong Saumura
Seng MengbunrongMat Vanney
Sum SeihaChhun Sithy
Prak SaromNgim Nheng
Oun PovLong Botta
Leng SothearyHeng Sokleng
Heng DanaroBut Sokhutheacheary

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