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Theary Seng: Cambodia jails activist dressed as ‘Lady Liberty’ for six years

Theary Seng: Cambodia jails activist dressed as ‘Lady Liberty’ for six years #Theary #Seng #Cambodia #jails #activist #dressed #Lady #Liberty #years Welcome to RKM Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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A Cambodian lawyer and activist who dressed up as Lady Liberty for a trial has been given a six-year jail term for treason.

Theary Seng was given the sentence by a court in capital Phnom Pehn on Tuesday.

She was one of 60 defendants, most of whom had been charged in connection with a failed attempt by an opposition leader to return from exile in 2019.

Ms Seng stood outside the court on Tuesday dressed in a green gown and a crown that had “freedom” written on it and sporting what looked like green glitter on her face and body.

“Free the political prisoners,” she chanted from time to time, raising an imitation torch carried by her.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party which functioned as long-running prime minister Hun Sen’s main political challenger was disbanded just before national elections in 2017.

Hun Sen’s Cambodia People’s Party subsequently swept the elections that year and won every single seat in a largely symbolic election.

Hun Sen is one of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers, having taken up office in 1985.

While Cambodian authorities had stopped Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy’s return, they alleged Ms Seng and other defendants were involved in organising it.

The charge though has been denied by the defendants.

Defense lawyer Choung Chou Ngy said the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had found Ms Seng and most of the others guilty of conspiracy to commit treason, reported the Associated Press.

While Ms Seng was sentenced to six years in jail, others received sentences of between five and eight years.

It was not immediately clear how many other defendants were there as several had fled the country and gone into exile.

Ms Seng had worn costumes to earlier court sessions as well so she could draw attention to “unfair trials”.

“I am ready and prepared to go to the notorious Cambodian prison for my political opinions, for my beliefs, for my belief in democracy, for my belief in freedom,” she was quoted as saying.

“I am ready to pay the price of prison in order that I live out my conscience and my belief in freedom and justice.”

Her trial had started in December 2020 but was suspended due to the Covid pandemic and related restrictions.

Additional reporting by agencies

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