I received a very disturbing e.mail this morning from a friend who is still in Cambodia.
Mr Rong Chhun – fearless advocate of education, opponent of the corrupt practices that have spread through Cambodia’s public service and champion of the teaching profession in his role as President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Assocation – has been arrested.
I have copied the e.mail below. Please contact Ms. Ouk Chhayavy at the e.mail address below to let CITA know of your solidarity with them. If you have any leverage, through the press, through a professional association or by writing to your MP or directly to the Cambodian Government, please use it to demand the release of Mr Rong Chhun.
This morning Tuesday 21st of January Mr. Rong Chhun President of CITA and the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) was arrested by the police while attending a meeting with workers in Phnom Penh city.
We are now gravely concerned for Mr. Rong Chhun’s safety and security has we have not been able to contact him since he was arrested and we are unable to identify where he is been detained.
We are also worried that the arrest of Mr. Rong Chhun is a strong signal from the government towards our CITA members who have already been intimated and threatened at provincial level when exercising their rights’ to freedom of assembly and expression.
This continued harassment of CITA and of Mr. Rong Chhun in particular demonstrates the government lack of respect for teachers’ rights as guaranteed under the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 or for the due process and best practice as recommended in the ILO-UNESCO Recommendations on the Status of Teachers.
We call on EI, teachers’ union and other Labour Unions to urgently raise the arrest of Mr. Rong Chhun with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and Ministry of Interior in Cambodia and to bring international trade union pressure and media attention to this continued abuse of workers’ rights in Cambodia.
For further information please call me directly at:
Or email me at:
Yours in Solidarity,
Ms. Ouk Chhayavy