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Cambodia court refuses to drop defamation charges against rights activists

[JURIST] Cambodian President Hun Sen [BBC profile] has said that a court has refused to allow him to drop criminal defamation charges against a group of human rights activists, as he had promised [JURIST report] last week. In a speech on Monday, Hun Sen said that the court ruled out dropping the charges because investigative proceedings had already begun. The accused include a radio journalist, a union leader and two activists from the Cambodia Center for Human Rights [advocacy website] who were arrested earlier this month [JURIST report] for allegedly accusing Hun Sen of ceding land to Vietnam. The arrests have drawn criticism from the international community and groups like Human Rights Watch [advocacy website], which has released a report [JURIST report] listing Cambodia among the Asian countries whose human rights records have seriously declined over the past year. AP has more.

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