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PM Urges Tighter Control of Political Extremists in Response to Russia, Vietnam

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen said that citizens only need to look at the threats to power in Vietnam and Russia to see that Cambodia needs to strengthen its policies against illegal political activities.

He used the recent shootings in Vietnam and the armed mutiny against Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for a tougher campaign against “extremism” in Cambodia, which could threaten his own power.

Over the weekend, a paramilitary group seized a Russian military headquarters and threatened to send troops to Moscow. A negotiation was made and the group pulled back without prosecution for their attempted uprising. Ukrainian Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, tweeted that the weekend’s event’s proved Putin’s weakness, saying, “We agree that the Russian authorities are weak and that withdrawing Russian troops from Ukraine is the best choice for the Kremlin. Russia would be better served to address its own issues.”

On June 11, a group of people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands attacked political and police headquarters, leaving nine dead. The Vietnamese police have since arrested 75 people and charged them with ‘terrorism.’ Following the event, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the border to be searched and warned individuals and agencies from helping anyone on the run.

Speaking at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Justice on the morning of June 26, the PM ordered the Minister of Justice to strengthen Cambodia’s criminal political control in response to any extremism that could occur in the country.

"This trend should not be underestimated. Our neighboring countries are experiencing an increase of violence,” he said, “Russia has an insurgent force, which is an issue that should be explored in the region.” He stated that in order to ensure stability and peace, the management of illegal politics must be prioritized.

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