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Hun Sen's Cambodia

Cambodian leader releases activists to save EU trade perks

Hun Sen eases grip on opposition after blocking Sam Rainsy's homecoming

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been criticized for quashing the opposition during his more than three decades in power.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appears to be bending to European Union criticism over his human rights record, freeing dozens of opposition activists from jail to save an important trade agreement with the bloc.

Roughly 30 already have been released, local media reported. About 70 activists were detained over the past several months on suspicion of planning a coup and other charges. Hun Sen on Thursday said these individuals were tricked by Sam Rainsy, an opposition icon who had planned to return home from self-exile for Cambodia's Independence Day on Nov. 9.

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