Cambodia: conviction of nine unionists and WHRDs upheld (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Oct 19, 2023
- Event Description
The Phnom Penh Appeal Court today upheld the convictions of eight current and former unionists from the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU).
Nine activists, including union President Chhim Sithar, were convicted of incitement under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in May 2023. Eight of the activists appealed the verdict. They included Sithar, who received the maximum sentence of two years in prison; Chhim Sokhorn, Hay Sopheap, Kleang Soben, Sun Srey Pich and Touch Sereymeas, who were sentenced to 18 months in prison; and Sok Narith and Ry Sovandy, who received one-year suspended sentences.
The Appeal Court trial started this morning. The court announced its verdict upholding the lower court’s judgment in full this afternoon after deliberating for 30 minutes. Sok Kongkea, who was also convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and received a suspended sentence, did not appeal the lower court’s verdict.
LRSU members have been on strike since December 2021, after the NagaWorld casino laid off the entire LRSU leadership and many of its members. The unionists were arrested in December 2021 and January 2022, and held in pre-trial detention until March 2022. Sithar was arrested again in November 2022 for allegedly violating judicial supervision conditions. She has since been detained in Prey Sar’s Correctional Centre 2. The other activists will remain under judicial supervision until all appeal avenues are exhausted.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of association
- Labour rights
- Freedom of expression
- Right to liberty and security
- Labour rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 19 October 2023, union leader Chhim Sithar and eight other labour rights defenders and WHRDs, were convicted of incitement for their peaceful strike in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.