Cambodia: The Hun Sen Regime has had over 121 Human Rights Activists arrested

For an indefinite General Strike to remove the Hun Sen Bonapartist Clique!


Article by Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britian, December 2020,




Last month over 121 Human Rights activists and former members of the Cambodian National Rescue Party were arrested and charged with treason.  The CNRP have been banned and outlawed .They face long terms of imprisonment. Many have fled the country to avoid imprisonment and their leader Sam Rainsy is still in exile. The Bonapartist clique that is the government of Cambodia is controlled by the Cambodian People’s Party (an ex-stalinist party) presided over by Hun Sen, the Bonapartist leader who runs the country as a police state. Human rights abuses have been reported by many and the Government of Cambodia is reviled with its democracy abuses and dictatorial methods.


“A Cambodian court has begun hearings in the treason trial of more than 100 members and backers of Cambodia’s opposition and then deferred proceedings until next year, delaying a case widely condemned as a move by long-serving premier Hun Sen to crush his political rivals.


A total of 121 defendants, all tied to the forcibly dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), were summoned to appear on Thursday, but just 34 showed up, with many in exile, convinced they would not get a fair hearing. Virtually all the defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit treason and incitement to commit a felony, which together carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, according to defence lawyers and human rights activists.


Among those who were seen arriving in court were former opposition senator Thach Setha and Cambodian-American human rights activist and lawyer, Theary Seng.


“I have done nothing wrong… it’s a sham trial. It’s political theatre. It is a political circus,” Seng told reporters outside the courtroom” [1].


The crisis of the Bourgeois capitalist regime in Cambodia is reflected by the emergence of the third great depression and inter-imperialist rivalry between China and the United States. Hun Sen, a close ally of imperialist China is beset with debt and huge economic crisis and is reliant on China to bail it out. Cambodia is a semi-colonial country with agriculture as its main industry. The Regime has been shunned by the western imperialists because of its human rights abuses and violations and extreme political repression. However, it is obvious that the Western imperialist hypocrisy shouldn't be the measurement for democracy. It is rather an indicator if a certain semi-colonial country is more of an ally to Western or to Eastern imperialism.




The Cambodian National Rescue Party




The bourgeois opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, has been outlawed with its leaders and members jailed but it still continues to fight the human rights abuses. As a bourgeois party it appeals to western imperialists to support their demands for democratic and human rights.


“Outside a Cambodian provincial court late last month, Kong Mouyly pleaded with journalists and civil society to help secure her father’s release.


Just minutes before, Kong Sam An had been among five opposition supporters sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow Cambodia’s government. My father is not guilty. Please, NGOs help us,” Mouyly, 31, pleaded in a video released on social media. Next to her, Mouyly’s 65-year-old mother Eab Sour held her hands together and begged: “Please help us.”


Such cries of desperation are becoming increasingly common in Cambodia, where long time leader Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party appear to be pursuing an unrelenting campaign to wipe out all opposition to their rule. The main opposition party – the Cambodian National Rescue Party – was dissolved in 2017, and its members and supporters have been targeted by authorities ever since.


Kong Sam An and his co-defendants were among more than 140 CNRP activists arrested as of the end of September. Officials in the governing party have made it clear it is determined to completely eradicate the organization.” [2]


“A Cambodian court has begun hearing the cases of nearly 130 opponents and government critics charged with treason for taking part in non-violent political activities over the past three years, in what one of them described as a sham trial.


Most of those being tried by the Phnom Penh municipal court are former members or supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. As the sole opposition party in parliament, it had been expected to offer a strong challenge to the prime minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s party in the 2018 general election. But in late 2017, Hun Sen launched a sweeping crackdown on his opponents. Virtually all critical media were pressured to close or tone down their coverage, and the Cambodia National Rescue party was forced by the high court to disband and its lawmakers were removed from parliament. Many people believe the court acted to ensure that Hun Sen’s party won by sweeping all the seats.” [3]


Hun Sen was able in the 2018 election to win but as he had outlawed and banned the main opposition - the Cambodian National Rescue Party - he was sure of victory in an election that was fixed by Hun Sen and his government. Even basic bourgeois democratic rights are banned and outlawed in his Bonapartist state.




For a New Workers Party




The RCIT has commented on the Hun Sen government previously. The RCIT advances a struggle for proletarian power and an insurrection to remove Hun Sen and his government. The first step is to campaign for a new workers party of the proletariat in alliances with the poor peasants in order to take power. Hun Sen has been in power for over 40 years, an ex-stalinist and commander of the Khmer Rouge he was installed into power by the stalinists during the Vietnam War and like many former stalinist regimes, Cambodia gravitated to a capitalist country with mass poverty, deprivation, austerity and massive economic underdevelopment.


“His repressive and autocratic regime has jailed thousands of opponents killing protesters and banning political parties who are a threat to him. Hun Sen rose to power in 1979 when the Vietnamese Stalinists installed him into power after the Cambodian civil war. Hun Sen was a battalion commander of the Khmer Rouge. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Hun Sen was well placed with the support of the Vietnamese military to take power. In the 2013 general election Hun Sen came close to defeat. He won only a narrow majority against a background of voting irregularities. Again arrests and attacks on political opponents were used by Hun Sen to prevent political opposition from challenging him for power. Hun Sen’s government has been marked by suspending and banning political parties for any reason whatsoever. There were protests in Phnom Penh Cambodia is a very poor semi colonial country with a largely agricultural economy. It has a poverty rate of at least 40%. Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party have opened up the country to foreign investors. Cambodia is heavily influenced by imperialist powers like China which invest heavily in the country and exploit the workforce who are paid low starvation wages. Hence, instead of supporting the CPP or the CNRP, socialists should strive to build an independent Workers Party. Such a party should, in our opinion, become part of a new Workers’ International.


Such a Workers’ Party would put together a revolutionary program which includes the expropriation of big business – including the imperialist corporations – and the nationalization of the banks under workers’ control. Another important task would be to rally the poor peasants for a program that expropriates the big landowners and foments an agrarian revolution. However, in doing so, the Workers’ Party has to patiently explain to the workers and poor peasants that sustainable democratic reform and social improvement can only be achieved if the working class takes power and creates a government of workers and poor peasants, based on councils and popular militias of armed masses “. [4]


The RCIT has analysed the inter-imperialist rivalry of the great powers where the emerging imperialist powers of China and Russia are challenging the United States, Japan and the European Union for Hegemony.


The start of the Third World Depression is leading to more and more erosion of democratic rights and bourgeois democracy and the strengthening of Bonapartist cliques like the Hun Sen regime.  Only a correct Marxist method can resolve the crisis of working class leadership, overthrow Bonapartism and Imperialism and establish socialism.


The RCIT puts forward the following programme to unite all pro-democratic forces, the working class and the urban poor to establish a workers government based on the urban and rural poor.


* For Protests and Strikes up to an Indefinite General Strike to remove the Hun Sen Government!


* Establish a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly where plans can be discussed to prepare the masses for the implication of proletarian power!


* Armed Self-defense guards and units must be set up to defend workers, the poor and the dispossessed from Police and State attacks!


* For the expropriation of all Multinational Corporations! Nationalize them under workers control without compensation!


* For the cancellation of all financial debts in Cambodia to all financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund!


For a New Workers Party based on a Revolutionary Program! For the construction of a truly International Workers Organization - the 5th International!




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