The president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions Rong Chhun appeared in Kandal Provincial Court for nearly three hours yesterday, fielding questions stemming from accusations of incitement and defamation, the union boss said.
According to Chhun, his appearance was related to a complaint alleging that he had incited workers to strike, and had defamed the management of the Tai Yang Enterprise garment factory – whose leadership filed the complaint against him after his involvement in a two-month strike that began in late June.
“I told the prosecutor that what the company accused me of is different [from what I did],” said Chhun, who has maintained his participation in the strike was not his idea.
“I did not incite the workers to protest, but they sent me a letter asking me to help them. I helped them find a solution because they needed my help.”
Chhun, who was first summonsed on August 29, said that he had not been charged, and that he was unsure of whether he would be asked to return to clarify further.
“I requested to the prosecutor to drop the complaint, which was issued by the general director of Tai Yang Enterprise, because what the company accused me of is wrong,” he continued. “The prosecutor has not yet replied to me about what I requested from him.”
“It would be very unfair if I were charged or arrested,” he added.
Deputy prosecutor Tep Monin, who questioned Rong Chhun, could not be reached for comment.
Men Kakara, Kandal co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the court was legally required to act on the management’s complaint, even if it didn’t intend to charge Chhun.
All the same, he declined to speculate on whether the prosecution would drop the complaint against him.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at firstname.lastname@example.org