Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Detainee speaks out online

Detainee speaks out online

IDEA president Vorn Pov sits with monks in front of Phnom Penh’s Yakjin (Cambodia) Inc clothing factory in January
IDEA president Vorn Pov sits with monks in front of Phnom Penh’s Yakjin (Cambodia) Inc clothing factory in January, shortly before being detained by authorities. POST STAFF

Detainee speaks out online

As lawyers for 21 defendants denied bail by the Court of Appeal last week wait for the Supreme Court to respond to their appeals, the most high-profile of the detainees is speaking out via social media.

On Friday night, Prak Sovannary, wife of Vorn Pov – president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) – posted to her Facebook account an open letter Pov allegedly wrote from prison to his supporters.

“I know that everyone has been working day and night to secure our freedom,” the letter, which appears to be signed by Pov, reads. “Many scars and wounds are on my body, creating a lot of pain, but this will not bother or depress me . . . I hope one day in the near future, we will receive our freedom back.”

Pov was one of 10 people arrested in front of Yakjin (Cambodia) Inc during a January 2 rally supporting a nationwide garment worker strike.

In an email yesterday, a spokesperson said Yakjin never filed a court complaint against the 10 arrested there.

In addition to the Yakjin arrests, authorities took 13 others into custody the next day during a demonstration near Canadia Industrial Park, where protesters threw rocks and set fires and authorities opened fire on Veng Sreng Boulevard, killing at least four and injuring dozens.

Two of the 23 were released on bail on February 8.

Following the Appeal Court’s denial of a bail request for the remaining 21 detainees last Tuesday, attorneys representing them filed a complaint with the Supreme Court, said Chhumly Chhay, a coordinator with the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, one of several organisations providing legal representation for the defendants.

Supreme Court officials typically take around a month to respond to bail appeals, said Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DANIEL PYE

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does