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Opposition Senator Arrested for Posting ‘Fake’ Map Online

A Cambodian opposition party supporter, right, holds a portrait photo of an opposition senator Hong Sok Hour during a protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. Cambodian authorities arrested an opposition senator Saturday, two days after Prime Minister Hun Sen accused him of treason for comments posted on Facebook. A slogan reads: free senator Hong Sok Hour. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy told reporters Monday he is hoping to discuss a new wave of arrests and Sunday’s detention of an opposition senator.

Fourteen Rescue Party supporters are now in jail. Sam Rainsy visited them over the weekend.

Sam Rainsy Party senator Hong Sok Hour, meanwhile, was arrested over the weekend, after Hun Sen accused him of “treason” for posting a map on Facebook that is not the official border map.

In a special session Monday, the Senate voted that the courts and authorities could continue to pursue a case against the senator.

Sok Eysan, a spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, says the arrests of the opposition supporters is a matter for the courts, and they are not protected by a political deal made between the opposition and ruling party last year, in the wake of the demonstrations.

Speaking to reporters following his visit to Prey Sar prison, Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy said he will seek a political solution with the CPP, as he did for the release of seven lawmakers in 2014, and for activists in April.

“So it was twice already that we reached a solution,” Sam Rainsy said. “Now, for the third time, in August 2015, I believe we will have similar solutions, because the problems are similar. I’m optimistic, I strongly believe, I hope that, based on our previous stand and spirit, we will reach a solution like the first and second time.”

The Rescue Party will need to be willing to compromise, he said, without elaborating. “We should find the ways to discuss and avoid sensitive issues.”