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Zsombor Peter

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Arrest of CNRP President Sokha Puts Party on the Brink

After hundreds of armed police raided Kem Sokha’s home in the predawn hours on Sunday morning and arrested the opposition leader for alleged treason over a years-old speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen wasted little time warning the only party with a chance of beating his long-ruling CPP in July’s general election of its potential dissolution.

Arrest of CNRP President Sokha Puts Party on the Brink

After hundreds of armed police raided Kem Sokha’s home in the predawn hours on Sunday morning and arrested the opposition leader for alleged treason over a years-old speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen wasted little time warning the only party with a chance of beating his long-ruling CPP in July’s general election of its potential dissolution.

Politics Trump Economics in Promised Wage Hike

A week ago last Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen rolled out an unprecedented package of new benefits for the country’s army of garment workers, topped off by the promise of a handsome raise next year, just in time for July’s critical national election.

In Charm Offensive, Hun Sen Promises Workers Raises, Pension

In a move likely to play well with a large swath of voters ahead of next year’s national election, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday announced a raft of new benefits for garment workers including a big bump to their monthly minimum wage—from $153 to “at least” $168.

Gov’t Debates Ethnic Minority Say Over Development Projects

Facing pushback from a provincial official, the Environment Ministry on Wednesday defended provisions in a draft environmental code that would give indigenous minorities a strong say over proposed projects that could impact their communities.

Despite Ban, Millions in Timber Continue to Cross Border

Vietnam imported $142 million worth of timber from Cambodia during the first half of the year, according to the latest customs data from Hanoi, adding to the mounting evidence that Cambodia’s nominal timber export ban is being widely ignored.

Researchers Put a Price Tag on Deforestation in Cambodia

Researchers from Australia have put a dollar figure on what they are calling one of Cambodia’s most important forests in hopes of helping stave off its loss to loggers, poachers and farmers looking for new land.

Agencies With Government Ties to Send Maids to Hong Kong

Six recruitment agencies selected for a pilot program to send Cambodian maids to Hong Kong include two companies with family ties to top government officials that also participated in a similar venture with Singapore that soon became mired in controversy.

UN Rights Envoy Arrives Today Amid Repressive Election Lead-Up

The U.N.’s human rights envoy to Cambodia—on the eve of her latest mission to the country—faces a government that has been growing increasingly repressive in the lead-up to next year’s national election, several rights groups say.

NGO Facing Expulsion Praised for Programs

Longtime residents of Phnom Penh’s once-notorious Svay Pak neighborhood say an NGO facing imminent closure on orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen was a boon to their small community and they had mixed feelings about its pending demise.

NGO in Hun Sen’s Crosshairs Remains Open, Under Investigation

An anti-sex trafficking NGO Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered shuttered and expelled from Cambodia was still open, but under investigation on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry official said.

Hun Sen Demands Closure Of NGO Over CNN ‘Insult’

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday ordered the speedy investigation, closure and expulsion of an anti-sex trafficking NGO over a recent CNN story featuring its work, accusing the group of inflicting Cambodia with “a serious insult” for saying that some mothers sell their daughters into the trade.

CNN Defends Child Trafficking Report From Government Rebuke

CNN on Monday said it stands by its report on child sex trafficking in Cambodia that has set the Interior Ministry on an investigation of a local NGO quoted in the story, accusing it of tarnishing the country’s image.

Hun Sen Sets Date for Next National Election—July 29, 2018

Prime Minister Hun Sen set the date for next year’s national election as July 29, officially backtracking on a deal his ruling CPP made with the opposition in 2014 to hold the poll during the dry

Cambodia Sees Its First Month Without Mine, UXO Victims

Deaths and injuries from old landmines and unexploded ordnance over the first six months of the year fell nearly 60 percent compared to the first half of last year, and included one month with no recorded casualties at all for the first time in memory.

NGOs Help Six More Workers to Repatriate From Malaysia

NGOs in Cambodia and Malaysia are working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to repatriate six of the 30 Cambodians who sought shelter at the country’s embassy after the Malaysian government started mass arrests of undocumented migrant workers on July 1.

Garment Factories Aiming to Kick Taxes on Footwear to US

Cambodia’s garment factories are hoping to partner with the Commerce Ministry in asking the U.S. to grant the country’s burgeoning footwear exports duty-free access should the U.S. decide to make the option available.

Vietnam Imports Cambodian Timber Despite Ban

After tumbling in April, Cambodia’s timber exports to Vietnam leveled off in May, according to the latest Vietnamese customs data obtained by the U.S. NGO Forest Trends.

Waiting for the Flood

On the north bank of the Srepok River, trash fires make ashes of what the families have left behind. They had fled before the rising waters promised by the Lower Sesan II dam, which closed its first floodgate for testing on Saturday morning after three contentious years of construction. Plumes of thick white smoke drift through the trees into an overcast sky.

Embassy in Malaysia Sheltering Nationals Amid Crackdown

The Cambodian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has seen an influx of nationals seeking help securing work documents—along with food and shelter—amid a crackdown on unregistered workers in the country, an embassy official said on Thursday.