Cambodia: union leader and eight co-defendants convicted for incitement (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- May 25, 2023
- Event Description
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court this morning issued incitement convictions for nine current and former union activists from the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU), including imprisoned union President Chhim Sithar. The convictions under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code are related to the union’s ongoing peaceful strike.
The court sentenced Sithar to the maximum prison sentence of two years and she was immediately detained following the verdict. Sithar and the other unionists were previously arrested and imprisoned in December and January 2022, before being bailed in March 2022. Sithar was re-arrested and imprisoned on 26 November 2022 for allegedly violating judicial supervision conditions, despite the fact that neither she nor her lawyers were ever informed of any conditions.
Five other LRSU unionists – Chhim Sokhorn, Hay Sopheap, Kleang Soben, Sun Srey Pich, and Touch Sereymeas – were each sentenced to one year and six months in prison, but the five women will remain out of prison and under judicial supervision until all appeal routes are exhausted.
The remaining three defendants – Sok Narith, Sok Kongkea, and Ry Sovandy – received one-year sentences that were suspended. The court provided no reasoning in its judgment.
LRSU members have been on strike since December 2021 following mass layoffs at the NagaWorld casino, which included LRSU’s entire leadership and a significant number of its members. Members have faced judicial harassment, physical attacks, and sexual assaults by authorities during the course of their peaceful strike.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of association
- Freedom of expression
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Labour rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 25 May 2023, union leader Chhim Sithar and eight other labour rights defenders, were convicted of incitement for their peaceful strike in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.