Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), was freed from prison on Friday, 12 November 2021, after the Phnom Penh Appeals Court reduced his sentence. He was released, along with co-defendants and fellow labour rights activists, Sar Kanika and Ton Nimol.
The ITUC-Asia Pacific, representing more than 60 million workers in Asia and the Pacific region, welcomes the release of Rong Chhun and other activists who have been unjustly criminalised by the Hun Sen government for exercising their freedom of expression.
“For over a year, trade unions in Cambodia and across the world have been campaigning for Rong Chhun’s freedom and calling the Cambodian government to drop the charges against him. Human and trade union rights defenders must not be arrested and imprisoned for their courageous efforts to protect human and workers’ rights,” Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of the ITUC-Asia Pacific said.
The Phnom Penh Appeals Court dropped the remainder of the respective sentences of Rong Chhun, Sar Kanina and Ton Nimol. However, they remain on probation and face a number restrictions related to travel and other activities for for three years.
“While the ITUC-Asia Pacific welcomes the appeals court decision to release Rong Chhun and other labour rights activists and reduce his sentence, we continue to call on the Cambodian government to fully restore their rights and freedom by lifting all the restrictions imposed on them,” Shoya Yoshida added.