United States says Cambodian accusations all false

Son Chhay speaks during a news conference at the CNRP’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. KT  Chor Sokunthea

Son Chhay speaks during a news conference at the CNRP’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. KT Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for more than three decades, has threatened to dissolve the party if it gets involved in legal proceedings against Kem Sokha, who police arrested on the basis of videos from several years ago showing him at a seminar where he spoke about receiving advice from U.S.pro-democracy groups.

The Cambodian Daily, an English-language newspaper, was shut down last week by government authorities. He also called on the government to allow the radio stations to resume broadcasting BBG programming.

The United States and Western countries have called for Kem Sokha's release, drawing further anti-American rhetoric from the government.

"If Cambodia's elections were held today, no credible global observer would certify them as free, fair and reflecting the will of the Cambodian people", Heidt said.

Phnom Penh, Sep 13 The US Embassy in Cambodia today stopped issuing visas to senior Cambodian foreign ministry officials and their families, an action initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security.

The comments by Son Chhay, a senior member of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, came during the party's first news conference since Kem Sokha's September 3 arrest in Phnom Penh.

"The right of political expression, the right of a free media, and the right to dissent, are all being quashed by Hun Sen in an effort to subvert free and fair national elections in Cambodia scheduled for next year".

Earlier this year, Cambodia stopped accepting the deportation of Cambodian nationals who had been convicted of crimes in the United States, saying it wanted to renegotiate a settlement agreement on human rights grounds.

"Chinese friends are like a strong back that continues to help Cambodia in every circumstance so that no foreign country can break it up", Hun Sen said on his Facebook page on Wednesday after returning from a trip to China.

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