Cambodia: global unions demand immediate unconditional release of Rong Chhun

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for the immediate, unconditional release of Rong Chhun, ahead of his expected court appearance on Friday.

It is part of a wave of solidarity from the global union movement in support of the jailed union leader.

Rong Chhun is the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and a prominent union activist. In July 2020, he was arrested for his comments on Facebook about Cambodian farmers on the border losing land to Vietnam.

Sor Saknika, president of the Cambodian Informal Labourers’ Association, was also arrested and detained after calling for Rong Chhun’s release.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The arrest of Rong Chhun, and the detention of more than 20 other rights activists in Cambodia, is a blatant case of repression of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“And it’s not just the ITUC and Education International saying that. Six United Nations special rapporteurs have intervened in the case, the UN High Commission For Human Rights is seriously concerned and 5,876 people have joined the LabourStart campaign demanding freedom for the union leaders.

“It’s time for the Cambodian government to prove its commitment to basic human rights. It’s time to release Rong Chhun and all of the other rights activists and stop these attacks on people’s freedom in Cambodia.”