Prime Minister Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia for over three decades through violence, politically motivated prosecutions, and widespread corruption. The ruling party-controlled courts are used as a tool against the political opposition and critics. Fear of losing national elections in July 2018 prompted a major crackdown. The primary opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved by the courts, with one leader, Sam Rainsy, forced into exile and another, Kem Sokha, jailed. The government restricts independent media and civil society groups through forced closures, threats, intimidation, and arbitrary detention. The government regularly suppresses protests and bans public gatherings.
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