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Cambodia PM drops defamation charges against critics

[JURIST] Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen [BBC profile] on Tuesday said that criminal defamation charges against four critics would be dropped after he received letters [text, scroll down] from the four apologizing for the incident. Hun Sen faced increasing international pressure to drop the charges, but as recently as two days ago had refused to do so. Hun Sen had the charges brought against the four [JURIST report], who included a radio journalist, a union leader and two activists from the Cambodian Center for Human Rights [advocacy website], for allegedly calling him a traitor for signing a border agreement with Vietnam that purportedly ceded some territory. US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill [official profile] called for the charges to be dropped during a visit Tuesday, a week after Hun Sen allowed the four to be released on bail [JURIST report]. The incidents and others have created fears that Cambodia is drifting toward authoritarian rule under Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge [Wikipedia backgrounder] commander. AP has more.

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