Cambodian PM hails Thai counterpart for preventing political interference

Gratitude was expressed by Cambodian PM Hun Manet towards Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, for his commitment to preventing Thailand from becoming a platform for interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs. The statement was made today, February 7, following the apprehension of two Cambodian human rights activists and a former political detainee by Thai officials.

The arrests have engendered criticism from global activists who consistently accuse Cambodia of persecuting political rivals. The trio had recently sought asylum in Thailand and were awarded refugee status, according to Phan Phana, an associate of the Cambodia Youth Network. They intended to stage a demonstration today, coinciding with Cambodia’s Prime Minister Manet’s scheduled official visit to Bangkok.

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), has driven dozens of Cambodian pro-democracy activists to seek asylum in Thailand in recent years. The party has a history of utilising intimidation and judicial measures to suppress political opposition.

Notably, on December 29 2023, ten Cambodian refugees were detained while attending a course on the Paris Peace Agreement in Bangkok. Two weeks later, seven of those Thai authorities arrested were still being held in immigration detention, as reported by CamboJA News, a service run by the Cambodian Journalists Federation. The current status of these seven individuals remains uncertain.

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The course had a total of 40 participants, including Cambodian workers residing in Thailand, activists from the now-dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party, supporters of the Candlelight Party, and Khmer Krom refugees. Upon the arrival of the police at the meeting venue, ten individuals were arrested. These individuals possessed identification cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as stated by CamboJa News.

The Cambodian government levelled charges of an attempted coup against these individuals, while Thai police accused them of illegal entry into the country, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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