Baseless accusations against Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party

Statement by Sam Rainsy about the arrest of Kem Sokha MP, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, member of the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparty

Having known Mr Kem Sokha and followed his political activities for 25 years, I am able to say that the use by the authorities of his declarations made to a group of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) sympathizers in Australia in November 2013 is a gross attempt to decapitate the opposition less than a year before legislative elections scheduled for July 2018.

I am able to reject the senseless accusation of “treachery and collusion with a foreign country to cause trouble and overthrow the government” made by the authorities against Mr Kem Sokha, having been president of the CNRP since its creation in April 2013 until my resignation in February 2017. I bear witness that, under my leadership, the CNRP neither envisaged nor engaged in any activity that could justify the accusation.

Is it “treachery” to want a democratic change for one’s country, and to work peacefully to achieve it, following the example of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the collapse of numerous dictatorships in the 1990s and the 2000s?

Is it “collusion with foreign countries” to seek solidarity with those around the world who share the universal values of democracy and human rights?

Was it also “treachery and foreign collusion” when I received at my home in Phnom Penh in December 2014 the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi, as well as the Indian ambassador to Cambodia, Mr Dinesh Patnaik, to seek advice on Gandhi’s methods for non-violent conflict resolution?

Was it also “treachery and foreign collusion” when the CNRP organised at its offices in Phnom Penh in 2013-2014 training courses on non-violent methods and passive resistance led by an Indian expert and human rights activist named Raju Bhagwat?

Sam Rainsy
Paris, 3 September 2017

Read the statement by Sam Rainsy on his Facebook page

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