Theary Seng’s Legal Counsel, Jared Genser Banned from Entering Cambodia Forever, Latest Update

Jared Genser, an international human rights lawyer and legal counsel for Theary Seng in her treason trial has now been permanently banned by the Cambodian government from entering Cambodia. Read latest update from Theary about her on-going trial.

Jared visited Cambodia on December 5th, 2021 and attended Theary’s hearing as a friend since he is not qualified to practice law in Cambodia. Jared is a former classmate of Theary at Michigan Law School. The Cambodian government was unhappy about his appearance in Cambodia and that he gave an interview with the press about her trial.

Jared Genser attended Theary’s hearing in December. Theary speaks with the press. File Photo.

The “Royal Government Attorney Group” issued a statement stating that he has acted in an “abusive way” towards the Cambodian judiciary. “Theary faces decades in prison if convicted on bogus charges of conspiracy to commit treason and incitement to create social disorder,” wrote Jared. “At no time did I threaten or insult the judiciary. I simply said that the charges and trial against Theary violate Cambodia’s obligations under international law and I emphasized that if she were wrongly convicted, there would be serious consequences for the Government of Cambodia, which isn’t a threat but rather a promise that we will hold regime officials accountable before international bodies such as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”

On January 20, the government of Cambodia released a statement to Fresh News, a government friendly news outlet, that “the Ministry of Interior has taken action to put an American named JARED MATTHEW GENSER into the system. Immigration has targeted all international border police stations, banning his entry into Cambodia forever.”

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said, “apart from being involved in violating the jurisdiction of the Cambodian jurisdiction in order to threaten the independence of the Cambodian judiciary, an American named Jared Genser also violated the Immigration Law by using a visa for a different purpose. “Cambodia for tourism, but acted contrary to the type of visa allowed.”

Jared Genser, Founder of Freedom Now Human Rights Lawyer

Jared said, “As for the so-called reasons presented by the regime to justify this “forever” ban, it claims that I violated immigration law and threatened the judiciary.  Both are utterly without merit.” He said he did engage in tourism in Cambodia where he visited the Angkor Wat and visited both the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Genocide Center. He attended Theary’s trial as a friend because he’s not qualified to practice law in Cambodia.

Jared Genser is a very well respected and accomplished international human rights lawyer who has been awarded the International Human Rights Award by the American Bar Association in 2013, and Tällberg Foundation’s Tällberg / Eliasson Global Leadership Prize in 2020. He has served as international counsel for many high-profile human rights activists and political prisoners globally, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Venezuelan politician Leopoldo López, and former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed.

Currently, he works as managing director of the law firm Perseus Strategies, LLC in Washington D.C. He is also a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and was previously an associate of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and a visiting fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy.

Jared has given the international community critical insights into the justice system of Cambodia and how it failed its international obligations even within its own Cambodian laws throughout the treason trial process.

Theary first received her summon for treason and incitement in November 2020 amongst sixty-seven others who are made up mostly of CNRP members, Cambodia opposition party, the trial was moved again and again violating her rights.

Theary’s trial is also being observed by the Cloony Foundation for Justice, by representatives of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, as well as a number of other international observers. Amal Cloony, Co-President of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, said, “Cambodia should stop using vague laws and mass trials to prosecute critics.”

Alma Cloony, Co-founder of Cloony Justice Foundation


In a statement to Khmer Post USA, Theary wrote, “the regime was really coming after me in banning Jared as a threat, an intimidation against me to say that I am isolated from my international friends and support; to the contrary, the ban has strengthened Jared’s resolve on Cambodia issues as they relate to me and justice generally and gave us a free global publicity.” She added that Jared will continue to advocate on her behalf in Washington D.C.

Theary’s next “court” hearing is Tuesday, February 15, 2022. She has now hired a domestic Khmer lawyer. “The timing is right,” she said, “and we work well together.” “The charges are baseless in fact and in law, so there’s not much deep legal reasoning to think through. The strategy is more political than legal as this is a political matter,” Theary said.