Sous Chantha – Imprisoned labour leader from Cambodia due in trial
Other labour rights organisations and trade unions are also working for his release. The case of Sous Chantha, the reinstatement of the dismissed workers and the new trade union law were raised at the recent meeting of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. The Committee of experts looking at the labour rights violations in Cambodia stated that “the freedom of association rights of workers and employers could only be exercised in a climate free from violence, pressure and threats of any kind, it urged the Government to take the necessary measures to bring an end to impunity in relation to such violent acts against trade unionists and to ensure that the perpetrators and the instigators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice”.
We will find out on Friday if Sous will be released or not and if not then we will take further action along with Cambodian unions and global supporters.
Sous Chantha has spent almost 8 months in pre-trial detention since his arrest on 18 November 2010 on framed drug trafficking charges. His arrest directly followed his 1,000-member union’s migration to the pro-workers Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU). Information gathered by the Cambodian human rights group LICADHO strongly suggests that Chantha was framed in retaliation for changing his union’s affiliation - indeed just one day after he joined the union he was arrested.