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Rong Chhun

HRD, President
Independent Cambodian Confederation of Unions

I don’t mind being blamed by the [political] leaders [for speaking out], but I don’t want journalists to blame me for being quiet. I have already sharpened my spurs to fight. If the leaders are not happy with me they can propose to withdraw my candidature.

Rong Chhun is the President of the Independent Cambodian Confederation of Unions and a member of the Cambodia Watchdog Council. He was the former president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher's Association (CITA), an organisation that promotes solidarity between the private and public sector teachers, irrespective of colour, race, sex, religion or political belief. He has been a vocal human rights defender and has long raised concerns about the plight of farmers' and workers' rights.

 

The Cambodian authorities use legislation and the judicial system, and threats of arrest or legal action, to restrict free speech, jail government critics, and disperse workers, trade union representatives and farmers engaging in peaceful assembly. The authorities routinely forcibly and often violently disperse public protests. HRDs who work to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights are particularly at risk of persecution, and trade union leaders have been subjected to extra-judicial executions. Community activists defending the right to housing and protesting against land grabs and forced evictions have faced fabricated charges and jail terms. Journalists who criticise the government face serious charges, lengthy trials, imprisonment and violence.