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Cambodian human rights defender cannot return homeposted on: 2005/11/09

10 November 2005

A Cambodian human rights defender, who came to Ireland to Front Line’s 3rd Dublin Platform, cannot return to his country as Cambodian authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest for signing a statement that criticised a border treaty with Vietnam.

Chea Mony (36) president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) and a member of the Human rights organisation Cambodia Watchdog Council (CWC) was in Dublin when on 15 October the Cambodian authorities charged him and three other members of the CWC with defamation.

A government crackdown on human rights defenders began on 10 October when Hun Sen, the President of Cambodia signed a controversial land deal with Vietnam. Many Cambodians vehemently oppose the treaty, which they view as ceding their land to Vietnam. Hun Sen has told the Cambodian people on several occasions that he will arrest and jail those who voice their dissent. Some members of the opposition parties, human rights defenders and trade unionists have fled to neighbouring countries.