Cambodia

Beehive Radio Will Not Be Shut Down, Hun Sen Says

Mam Sonando was arrested in mid-July and accused of leading a secessionist movement in Kratie province.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.
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Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen smokes during an inauguration in Kandal province.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday the arrest of Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando would not lead to the closure of the station, but he also said a thumbprint petition drive by his supporters would not lead to his release from jail, where he awaits trial on charges related to sedition.

Beehive carries programming from the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio France International, as well as smaller political groups not aligned with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Mam Sonando was arrested in mid-July and accused of leading a secessionist movement in Kratie province after villagers there violently protested a land seizure.

His supporters have gathered more than 50,000 thumbprint signatures calling for his release, which they submitted to Western embassies.

In a speech at the graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education, Hun Sen called the petition “useless.”

“I don’t care how many thumbprints there are, it is not of value with a court case,” he said. Beehive Radio would not be closed, he said. “The radio was not wrong. Don’t be angry with the ox and then hit the cart. Don’t be stupid.”

Rights workers say they fear the radio station, one of the few remaining independent broadcast media outlets in the country, could face closure as Mam Sonando’s case continues.
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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