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Cambodia Convicts Exiled Opposition Leader

FILE - Cambodia's exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to the media upon arrival at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia on Nov. 14, 2019.

A Cambodian court on Thursday convicted exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy and 20 other opposition figures and activists of treason and other charges.

The court in Phnom Penh sentenced Rainsy and seven exiled leaders to 10 years in prison.

Rainsy is a co-founder of the disbanded Cambodia National Rescue Party and a critic of Prime Minister Hun Sen. He has been in exile since 2016.

The charges are linked to Rainsy’s 2019 planned return to Cambodia that was blocked by the government.

Human Rights Watch criticized the court’s ruling Thursday, saying the trial was unfair and “no credible evidence was brought against the defendants.”

“The trial appears to have been aimed at sidelining political opponents of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party,” the group said in a statement.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.