Cambodia: Activist Theary Seng sentenced to imprisonment

Cambodia: activist Theary Seng sentenced to imprisonment

Released on 37. .51

  • Theary Seng, American lawyer and human rights activist, dressed in the costume of Lady Liberty, stands before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Photo: Heng Sinith/AP/dpa

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Shrill actions against the authoritarian reigning prime minister of Cambodia made them well known. Now the activist with a US passport has been sentenced to imprisonment in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh.

Prominent human rights activist Theary Seng has been sentenced to six years in prison for high treason in Cambodia.

The 51 Year-old lawyer, who also has a US passport, was taken to prison by the police on Tuesday immediately after the verdict, according to photos shared in media and social networks.

Seng was shown with his head shaved. Radio Free Asia quoted her as saying she cut her hair as a precaution to prevent lice in prison. Her lawyer said he would appeal the verdict.

Dozens of her accomplices were sentenced to between five and eight years in prison. The controversial case concerned an attempt by Sam Rainsy, a prominent opposition politician who lives in exile abroad, to return to Cambodia. The operation had failed 69, Seng and other activists were charged with “preparing to commit treason”.

Known for shrill actions

In the past, Seng has repeatedly protested against the government of permanent Prime Minister Hun Sen with shrill actions. The 51-year-old has been since 37 Years in power and governs the country in an authoritarian manner. He has repeatedly been accused of imprisoning and intimidating political opponents.

On Tuesday, Theary Seng, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, waited outside the courthouse for the verdict. The media quoted her as saying she wanted her arrest to be in the public eye. Seng had lost her parents as a child under the bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge. She lived in the US until completing her studies.

US Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy tweeted a photo of Seng shortly before her arrest and wrote: “We are deeply concerned on today’s verdict against Theary Seng. Freedom of expression and association, and tolerance of dissent, are essential components of democracy.” (dpa)

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