Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prey Veng teacher fined for defaming

Prey Veng teacher fined for defaming

Prey Veng teacher fined for defaming

THE outspoken provincial director of a teachers union has been convicted of defamation after accusing a Prey Veng province school principal of selling off district-owned land.

Chin Rithy, 41, the provincial director of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA) in Prey Veng, was ordered to pay the maximum 10 million riels (US$2,396) fine but will not face prison time, said provincial court director Chea Nol.

Chin Rithy, a teacher at Neak Loeung secondary school in Peamro district, had accused the school’s principal, Yoeun Sovuthy, of selling off a 6-by-21-metre plot of land belonging to the school.

Half of the fine will go to the state, and the other half will go to the principal because Chin Rithy “did damage to the principal’s reputation and dignity”, Chea Nol said.

Chin Rithy could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but his lawyer criticised the verdict. “It is very unjust for my client to be found guilty of the defamation charge,” said lawyer Chin Lida, who works with rights group Licadho.

“In reality, he only raised his concerns on behalf of the school’s interests. He didn’t do it to damage [Yoeun Sovuthy’s] reputation.”
The principal, however, said the decision was well-founded.

“It is fair and just,” Yoeun Sovuthy said, adding that the claims “were absolutely not true, accusing me of selling school land. The allegations really damaged my reputation and shamed me”.

Chin Lida said he would need to consult with his client before deciding on an appeal.

The president of CITA, urged Chin Rithy to appeal.

“We can’t accept the court’s conviction,” said Rong Chhun. “It is an injustice and biased.”


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states