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Head of Disbanded Cambodian Opposition Party Denied Bail


A riot police officer, left, enters a blocked street near the Supreme Court where former party leader Kem Sokha is to appear, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 22, 2018.

Cambodia's Supreme Court has denied a bail request for the leader of the now-dissolved main opposition party who has been detained for nearly a year without trial on a treason charge.

The ruling Wednesday followed an apparent softening of the government's hard stance toward critics. Four land rights activists were pardoned and released from prison on Monday, and two journalists who formerly worked for U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia, awaiting trial on an espionage charge, were released Tuesday on bail.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved by the court last year for alleged complicity in a treason plot. Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party, with no credible opposition, won a clean sweep in last month's general election.

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