This month, Thailand has deported three opposition activists who had been recognised as refugees back to Cambodia, even as violence against political dissidents surges and another activist was slashed to death in Phnom Penh on Sunday.
Thailand deported Veourn Veasna and Voeung Samnang on November 9, and Lanh Thavry on November 20. All three were members of the banned opposition political party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), which was dissolved by the Supreme Court in 2017 after a strong performance in that year’s local commune elections.
The dissolution was widely condemned at the time by rights activists and democratic nations, who saw it as a politically motivated move to prevent the party from threatening Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decades-long grip on power. Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party went on to run virtually unopposed in the 2018 national elections,