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International relations

Southeast Asia's strongmen unite against political dissidents

Thai police arrest Cambodian opposition leader following earlier deportation

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha have been stepping up co-operative efforts against political dissidents.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- In moves that appear to portend greater political oppression in Southeast Asia, the region's authoritarian governments are closing ranks on political dissidents who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

Thai Immigration this week helped Hun Sen, Cambodia's 65-year-old prime minister of 33 years, by detaining Sam Serey, head of the opposition Khmer National Liberation Front, at an immigration center north of Bangkok. He was later deported to Denmark, and has been banned from re-entering Thailand for five years. A few weeks ago, Hun Sen accused Sam Serey of plotting bombings in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, during a speech to university students.

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