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Court Issues Travel Ban for Cambodia Opposition Leader

FILE - Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Kem Sokha. A Phnom Penh court has issued an international travel ban on him.

A Phnom Penh court has issued an international travel ban for opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha.

Sokha has been holed up at the Cambodia National Rescue Party headquarters in the capital since an attempt was made to arrest him after he failed to show up for courtroom questioning sessions.

He is wanted for questioning over allegations he engaged in an extra-marital affair and defamation charges related to the case.

Ly Sophana, deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, told VOA Thursday that if Sokha did not “follow the ban, there will be another approach,” declining to specify what other actions may be taken.

Opposition lawmakers rejected the move as unconstitutional, arguing that Sokha’s parliamentary immunity protected him from such measures.

Eng Chhay Eang, a CNRP lawmaker, said the attempts to arrest Sokha were “illegal,” adding that the CNRP deputy president had no plans to leave the country.

U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal met Sokha Wednesday at the CNRP headquarters to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia.

Lowenthal was one of two congressmen to launch House Resolution 728, which calls for human rights, democracy and the rule of law to be respected.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Khmer Service.