PHNOM PENH – As many as 79 trade unions, workers’ rights campaign groups and federations in Cambodia have backed a letter addressed to the country’s authorities, strongly condemning the use of violence against peaceful protestors and calling for all those imprisoned for speaking out against the arrest of union leader Rong Chhun to be released from jail.
Since the arrest of former Cambodia National Rescue Party politician Rong Chhun, 12 demonstrators have been arrested, and in some cases beaten, for standing against the decision of those in power.
In its address to authorities, the letter, endorsed by the likes of the Cambodia Labor Confederation, Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union and the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, insisted: “It is not a crime to call for your family to be released from prison. It is not a crime to speak out against your friends’ arrest. It is not a crime to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with people in your community and demand justice. All Cambodians have the right to peacefully protest without being shoved, beaten or dragged off by police.”