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Union Leader Questioned by Kandal Court After Strike

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Rong Chhun, rear center, head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions gives a press conference on a street in Phnom Penh, file photo.

Rong Chhun, rear center, head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions gives a press conference on a street in Phnom Penh, file photo.

Court officials said he was not being charged Thursday but had been asked to come in for questioning.

PHNOM PENH - The head of a prominent union was briefly held for questioning by Kandal provincial court Thursday for allegedly inciting garment factor workers to strike there in June.

Rong Chhun, the head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, was held for three hours before he was released. He is being accused of public defamation and inciting workers to strike, after the owner of Tay Yean garment factory filed a complaint with the court.

Rong Chhun allegedly led Tay Yean workers in five days of strikes in June. Court officials said he was not being charged Thursday but had been asked to come in for questioning.

Rong Chhun told VOA Khmer he told the court he did not incite the workers to strike, as workers and human rights activists gathered in front of the court.

Pho Han, a 38-year-old factory worker, said she had come to support Rong Chhun. Workers had asked him to come help them after they went on strike for better working conditions but had been unable to resolve the problem with the factory, she said.

Rights workers say criminal laws and the courts increasingly are being abused to prosecute rights defenders, labor activists and journalists.
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