Veteran Cambodia rights activist gets 20 years

By REUTERS
October 1, 2012 09:26




PHNOM PENH - A Cambodian court jailed a 71-year-old radio broadcaster and land-rights campaigner for 20 years on Monday after finding him guilty of leading an anti-state rebellion, a verdict condemned by activists as the latest crackdown on human rights.

Three judges in the Phnom Penh court convicted Sonando, who has joint Cambodian-French citizenship, and 13 others of inciting villagers in eastern Kratie province to rebel against the government.

Sonando, a long-time rights campaigner and critic of Prime Minister Hun Sen, stood accused of inciting villagers to take up arms and of aiming to recruit up to a million people to topple the government.

Hun Sen urged in a nationally broadcast speech in June that Sonando be arrested for masterminding "a plot to overthrow the government and attempting to establish a state within a state."

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