Cambodian authorities should drop the “politically motivated” charges against two former RFA reporters accused of “espionage,” New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday, ahead of an appeal of a decision to place them under court supervision.
On March 15, the Phnom Penh Court ordered the case against Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin to proceed to trial, 16 months after the two were taken into custody in November 2017 and charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source” under article 445 of the Criminal Code, an offense punishable by a prison term of 7 to 15 years.
While Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were released on bail in August last year, the decision in March saw the two journalists placed under court supervision, which bars them from changing their addresses or traveling abroad, and requires them to check in with their local police station once a month.
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