Washington (November 20, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03) calling on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to persuade Cambodia to release Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Kem Sokha, to cease harassment of Cambodia’s main opposition party, and to respect the freedom of the press and rights of all Cambodians to freely and peacefully assemble, protest, and criticize the government. Cambodia’s Prime Minister has arrested the opposition party leader under charges of treason and has urged his political opponents to defect and join the Cambodia People’s Party or face a five-year ban from politics.  On November 16, Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled to dissolve the country’s main opposition party.

“I am disappointed that today Cambodia’s Supreme Court has dissolved the country’s main opposition party.  Prime Minister Hun Sen’s efforts to undermine democratic institutions, jail his political opponents, and extend his 32-year rule are unacceptable,” said Senator Markey. “We urge the State Department to send an unequivocal message that Cambodia must immediately release opposition party leader Kem Sokha and respect the rights of all Cambodians to freely choose their political representatives.”

A copy of the Senator’s letter can be found HERE