PHNOM PENH – A prominent Cambodian labour leader has been arrested for speaking out on “politically sensitive matters” relating to the government’s handling of its borders with Vietnam.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, is a former politician and served on the national election committee of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s major opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, before it’s leader was controversially arrested on charges of treason – pre-empting the party’s dissolution.
Chhun was arrested at his home on Saturday and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty of stirring social unrest. Only last week, the United Nations intervened after Cambodia’s authorities threatened another workers’ rights advocate with jail time. A huge power imbalance in the country is deemed a major concern by the European Union, which earlier this year partially suspended Cambodia from the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement.