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19 Jan 2023


Cambodia: Court deny NagaWorld union leader's bail request after being re-arrested and detained following her return from Australia

"LRSU President Chhim Sithar Denied Bail", 19 January 2023

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court … denied bail to Chhim Sithar, president of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Nagaworld (LRSU), ordering her to remain in pre-trial detention in Correctional Center 2 prison. No reason was given for the denial.

Sithar was first arrested … and spent two months in pre-trial detention after being charged with incitement alongside other members of her union. She was released on bail …, but she was again arrested … by immigration police at the Phnom Penh International Airport while returning from a labour rights conference in Australia.

Authorities accused Sithar of violating bail conditions by leaving the country, despite neither Sithar nor her lawyers ever being informed of such conditions. She has been detained at Correctional Center 2 prison ...

LRSU members have been striking … following mass layoffs at the NagaWorld casino that included the union’s entire leadership and a significant number of members.

Sithar and 8 fellow LRSU leaders and members face up to two years in prison if they are convicted of incitement. Another six LRSU members were charged in February under the 2021 Covid-19 Law…, at least 18 additional union members were slapped with charges of breaking and entering; intentionally causing damage with aggravating circumstances; and unlawful arrest, detention and confinement, in a criminal case that also references more than 100 unnamed "followers".