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Cambodia: Prominent labour union leader arrested & charged with incitement over Facebook posts

Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun was arrested by police at his home late on Friday night after the government’s Cambodia Border Affairs Committee publicly called on authorities to take action against the unionist for his comments following a visit to the Cambodia-Vietnam border on July 20. Chhun – a member of the non-governmental Cambodia Watchdog Council – had given a radio interview just hours before his arrest denying that he had been spreading false information about alleged community land loss along the border in a public statement the week before

Rong Chhun has been an outspoken advocate for workers’ rights in Cambodia for decades and before his arrest, Rong Chhun joined a group of more than 200 garment workers who gathered to submit a petition outside the home of Prime Minister to ask for his help following their factory’s closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On 3 August 2020, 141 civil society organisations and communities also released a joint statement asking that charges be dropped and Chhun released.

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