The US embassy urged its citizens to exercise caution after Prime Minister Hun Sen's government accused the United States of conspiring with opposition leader Kem Sokha, who has been charged with treason. More than a dozen radio stations that broadcast dissident voices or programming from USA government-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America were forced to shut down for allegedly violating regulations.
"There has never been a more important time to hold governments accountable for treating press freedom as a human right and a universal priority", Broadcasting Board of Governors CEO John Lansing said in a statement.
The United States and Western countries have called for Kem Sokha's release, drawing further anti-American rhetoric from the government.
Phnom Penh, Sep 13 The US Embassy in Cambodia today stopped issuing visas to senior Cambodian foreign ministry officials and their families, an action initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security. "They just drop bombs to kill people".
Son Chhay, the party's chief whip, said the party believed that worldwide pressure on Phnom Penh would lead to an easing of tensions.
"The right of political expression, the right of a free media, and the right to dissent, are all being quashed by Hun Sen in an effort to subvert free and fair national elections in Cambodia scheduled for next year".
U.S. law calls for deporting convicted felons of foreign nationality - including those with United States permanent resident status - after they have served their prison sentences.
Under a 2002 agreement with the U.S., Cambodia has accepted about 500 deportees. An estimated 1,000 more have yet to be sent back.
Hun Sen said earlier this year he wanted to amend the agreement because it split Cambodian-American families.