World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Red alert over Cambodian trade unionist's arrests

20 October 2005

Red alert over Cambodian trade unionist's arrests, three more on government "hit list"

Brussels, 19 October 2005 (ICFTU OnLine): ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder today wrote to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen urging him to immediately release Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodia Independent Teachers' Association (CITA), who was arrested on October 15 following a statement he made criticizing the government's border policy.

Mr. Chhun is currently detained in Prey Sor Prison and has reportedly not eaten since being arrested for fear of being poisoned. The fact that his arrest comes in the wake of two unsolved murders of trade unionists last year, that of Chea Vichea and Ros Savannareth, adds further gravity to the situation.

"We are on red alert. Not only has Rong Chhun been imprisoned but we believe that the same fate awaits others charged for the same reason - simply criticizing government policy," said Ryder.

"Freedom of expression is a human right and a pre-requisite for the operation of truly free trade unions. This government must change its contemptuous stance towards this most basic of civil liberties if it wants to be taken seriously by the international community," Ryder added.

Having previously experienced harassment due to his trade union activities, on February 2, 2004, Mr. Chhun wrote to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) about his precarious situation. His fears were clearly founded.

He has been charged with defaming the Prime Minister and inciting others to commit a crime. Arrest warrants have also been issued on the same grounds for Chea Mony, the President of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC), Man Nath, president of the Cambodian Independent Civil Servant Association and Ear Channa, Deputy Secretary General of the Student Movement for Democracy. All four of them are members of the "Cambodia Watchdog Council", an independent organisation that monitors government activities.

In his letter, Ryder writes: "The ICFTU is alarmed that freedom of expression of trade union leaders is circumscribed. The very hostile climate trade unionists have endured in Cambodia since the beginning of 2004, including the unresolved murder of two prominent trade union leaders and several incidents of harassment such as, for example the brief arrest of Chea Mony earlier this year, severely tarnishes the image of Cambodia abroad."

The ICFTU has also notified the ILO of its concerns regarding Mr. Chhun. http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991222931&Language=EN

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>