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Live Blog: Cambodia's Opposition Returns

Despite efforts by Cambodian government of Prime Minister Hun Sen to block their return to the country, leaders of the Cambodia National Rescue Party have vowed to return home on Saturday, Nov 9 -- the country's independence day.

13:25 10.11.2019

Kem Sokha Released From House Arrest, Still Prohibited From Leaving The Country And Engaging In Political Activity

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court released an order on Sunday relaxing the bail conditions for opposition leader Kem Sokha, allowing him to leave his house but preventing him from traveling outside Cambodia or engaging in political activity.

The court document is dated November 10 and was confirmed as authentic by court spokesperson Y Rin. While Sokha is released from house arrest, the treason charges leveled against him still remain and the court has yet to set a trial date.

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23:58 9.11.2019

Cambodian Opposition Leader Doesn't Return as Promised

Self-exiled Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who had promised to return Saturday to Cambodia from Paris to mark the country's 66th Independence Day, landed in Malaysia Saturday, but he did not return to Cambodia, after months of speculation and escalating tensions here.

Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director, condemned the measures.

“PM Hun Sen looks foolish and paranoid by ordering thousands of police and army troops to patrol about with armored cars and heavy weapons,” he told VOA. “By doing so, he's revealing the true purpose of the security forces — to intimidate, and repress the rights and democratic aspirations of the Cambodian people.”

Rainsy arrived in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, at about 4 p.m. Saturday, joining his deputy Mu Sochua. She had been detained at the airport on Thursday evening before being released on Friday.

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18:11 9.11.2019

Human Right Watch’s Phil Robertson confirmed that Sam Rainsy had arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday. He said the country had set an example for other ASEAN member states on how to deal with the CNRP leadership’s attempts to return home, specially picking out Thailand’s refusal to allow the opposition entry into the country. The Thai government has said it will not allow the Cambodian opposition to use a land border crossing with Cambodia. Also, Sam Rainsy was not allowed to board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok on Thursday.

"Malaysia deserves kudos from around the world for letting Sam Rainsy enter the country and meet with his colleagues. Respecting basic human rights is not hard. In contrast to repressive Thailand's clamp down on the Cambodian exiles, Malaysia has shown there is another, more rights respecting way to proceed. More countries in ASEAN need to emulate Malaysia going forward if the bloc is ever going to shake the moniker of being primarily a dictator's club."

15:46 9.11.2019

Reuters reported around 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 9, that Sam Rainsy had landed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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