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Court Issues Travel Ban for Cambodia Opposition Leader


Kem Sokha, the opposition deputy leader, makes a rare public appearance in a religious event to commemorate the anniversary of the 1997 coup, at the party’s headquarter, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 06, 2016. (Hean Socheata/VO

Kem Sokha, the opposition deputy leader, makes a rare public appearance in a religious event to commemorate the anniversary of the 1997 coup, at the party’s headquarter, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 06, 2016. (Hean Socheata/VO

Opposition lawmakers rejected the move as unconstitutional, arguing that Sokha’s parliamentary immunity protected him from such measures.

A Phnom Penh court on Thursday issued an international travel ban for opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha.

Sokha has been holed up at the Cambodia National Rescue Party headquarters in the capital since an attempt was made to arrest him after he failed to show up for questioning sessions in the court.

He is wanted for questioning over allegations he engaged in an extra-marital affair and defamation charges related to the case.

Ly Sophana, deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, told VOA Khmer that if Sokha did not “follow the ban, there will be another approach,” declining to specify what other actions may be taken.

Opposition lawmakers rejected the move as unconstitutional, arguing that Sokha’s parliamentary immunity protected him from such measures.

Eng Chhay Eang, a CNRP lawmaker, said the attempts to arrest Sokha were “illegal,” adding that the CNRP deputy president had no plans to leave the country.

US Congressman Alan Lowenthal met Sokha on Wednesday at the CNRP headquarters to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia.

Lowenthal was one of two congressmen to launch House Resolution 728, which calls for human rights, democracy and the rule of law to be respected.

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