Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group petitions UNOHCHR for release of union leader

Group petitions UNOHCHR for release of union leader

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Protesters advocated for the release of Rong Chhun on Monday outside the UNOHCHR headquarters. The group also attempted to send a petition to the Japanese embassy. Hean Rangsey

Group petitions UNOHCHR for release of union leader

Representatives of student federations, trade union confederations, youths and over 20 human rights activists sent a petition to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) on Monday seeking the release union leader Rong Chhun and his detained supporters.

The group also attempted to send a petition to the Japanese embassy but were interrupted by police officers.

Rong Vann, 22, the nephew of Rong Chhun who signed the petition, told The Post that police prevented the group from making their way to the embassy after they had sent the petition to the UNOHCHR.

“We submitted the petition at the UNOHCHR office successfully with a warm welcome. They promised to help us address this issue,” he said.

Vann said the petitioners did not have the strength to resist or push with the authorities for fears of violence, so they decided to disband. But the protesters plan on submitting the petition to the Japanese embassy at a later date.

The petition calls for the international community to intervene for the release of Chhun, who was arrested on the night of July 31 in connection with the Cambodia-Vietnam border issue. Chhun was placed in pre-trial detention at the Prey Sar prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 1 on charges of “incitement to commit a felony or cause social unrest”.

Representatives on the petition included the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA), Khmer Youths, Love Environment and Society Association, Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC).

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on Sunday that expressing wrong opinions about border-related issues with the intent to incite chaos can cause social disorder and damage national security.

He said the border issue is complicated and exaggerating the issue could cause a great disaster for the country. Prevention measures, therefore, must be very serious to protect national security, he added.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently warned against exaggerating about the Cambodia-Vietnam border at the grand opening of the Garden City Water Park in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district.

“The border is not a funny thing. Don’t incite, because that can cause disputes with neighbouring countries by pointing to these places or those places,” he said.


  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting