Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge
Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2022 12 Imprisoned Union leader must be released
UA 106/22
Cambodia
Aktiv seit 14. Dezember 2022 | Noch 12 Tage Laufzeit

Imprisoned Union leader must be released

AI-Index: ASA 23/6301/2022

Chhim Sithar, the leader of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU) of NagaWorld, has been rearrested for allegedly violating her bail terms, which arise from bogus charges of «incitement», after returning to Cambodia from Australia. LRSU members have been striking since December 2021 following mass layoffs from the NagaWorld casino. Sithar was arbitrarily arrested and charged with «incitement to commit a felony» under articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code on 4 January 2022. After being released on bail, Sithar has been rearrested for allegedly violating bail conditions that neither she nor her lawyer were informed of. We call for the immediate release and dropping of all charges against Chhim Sithar. Chhim Sithar has been detained solely for her work defending human rights.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Ms. Chhim Sithar, 34, is the second child of six siblings and has four brothers and one sister. She helps to support her 57-year-old uncle who has leukemia, her 65-year-old mother and her 33-year-old brother. Sithar has a bachelor’s degree in Economic Informatics.

Sithar has worked at NagaWorld since 2007 and became the president of LRSU in 2010. On 3 January 2022, Sithar was charged with ‘incitement to commit a felony’ under articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code. Sithar was violently arrested on 4 January 2022, being dragged by her neck and pulled into a car by undercover police while trying to join a strike in Phnom Penh. She spent 72 days in pre-trial detention before being released on bail in March.

Sithar was rearrested on 26 November 2022 after returning to Cambodia from Australia, where she had met with other labour leaders and during which time a Human Rights Watch report was published that featured her speaking out against the Cambodian government’s repressive tactics. She was arrested for allegedly violating conditions of her bail, but neither she nor her lawyers were ever made aware of any bail conditions related to travel, despite requesting such information. Sithar had previously travelled to Thailand on two occasions without issue since being granted bail in March 2022 and prior to her trip to Australia. Before being arrested, Sithar told Amnesty International:

«They told me it's not easy to fight against Naga, because they are big and have lots of money. But if no one fights the difficult fights, then how can we hold anyone accountable – and how can we hope to win the other fights?»

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.

  • Take action on Social media: Infos see the yellow field on the right

  • Please take action before 14 February 2023

  • Preferred language: English. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Your Excellency,

I am writing to express my grave concern for the future of all workers in Cambodia after the detention of Chhim Sithar, the leader of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU) of NagaWorld. I am concerned about the arbitrary arrest of a labour union leader, the misuse of the criminal justice system, and what this means for the future of workers’ rights throughout your country.

Under international human rights law and its Constitution, Cambodia has an obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of workers and to ensure that they realise their rights to unionise and strike without fear of violent and/or legal repercussion.

It is extremely worrying to see that incitement charges brought against Chhim Sithar have not been dropped and that they appear to have been motivated because of her leadership of the LRSU and their ongoing strike actions against NagaWorld. In addition, her rearrest is greatly concerning as Sithar is accused of allegedly violating bail conditions that she had no way of knowing, because they were not provided to her or her lawyers, despite requests from her lawyers. This indicates that she was rearrested because of her ongoing work, exercising her right to freedom of speech and to freedom of association while in Cambodia and Australia.

Chhim Sithar has been detained solely for her human rights work. I therefore urge you to ensure that:
- Chhim Sithar is released immediately and unconditionally;
- An independent and thorough investigation into the charges brought against her is undertaken by an objective body;
- Pending her release, Chhim Sithar and the other leaders of the LRSU and its membership, receive the protections afforded them under international human rights laws that Cambodia has ratified.

Yours sincerely,

 

Appeals to

Prime Minister Hun Sen
Office of the Prime Minister
Jok Dimitrov Boulevard
Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Twitter: @PeacePalaceKH
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/hunsencambodia

The best way to reach the target is through social media.

 

Copies to

Ambassade du Royaume du Cambodge
Chemin Taverney 3
Case Postale 213
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex

Fax: 022 788 77 74
E-mail: cambodge@bluewin.ch ; camemb.gva@mfaic.gov.kh

 

 

- - -

Letter delivery to other countries - General info:
It is possible to send PRIORITY letters to almost all countries.
Please check
on the Website of the Swiss Post, whether letters are currently being delivered to the destination country.
If not, we ask you to use other communication channels (email, fax or social media, if available) for the delivery of your appeal and/or send it via the embassy with the request for forwarding to the named person.


Response on your appeal/letter

It might be that you will receive a reply to your appeal letter. You do not have to answer to it by yourself, but we would be grateful if you would send us this letter. Ideally scanned by e-mail to ua@amnesty.ch. We forward the replies to the relevant research team (via Amnesty's International Secretariat). The colleagues analyze the content and decide on how to proceed, which may be reflected in a Further information.

Incidentally, we do not fear any consequences for UA activists in Switzerland. However, it makes sense to consider not to wrtite a letter if you intend to travel to the country (or have family there). This applies above all to «problematic» and repressive countries. (Russia, Turkey, China, ...)

Social media guide

Prime minister Hun Sen

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/hunsencambodia

Twitter account:

@PeacePalaceKH

- - -

Suggested hashtags

#FreeChhimSithar
#Laborrights
#ProtectTheProtest

- - -

Suggested messages:

Protect workers’ rights, free Chhim Sithar!

Protect workers NOT casinos! Free Chhim Sithar!

Don’t gamble on workers’ rights, workers’ rights must be put before profits! Free Chhim Sithar!

- - -

Joint statement with Human Rights Watch on 13 December:

Only "Instant Noodle" Unions Survive

10 Briefe verschickt  
My Urgent Actions
Fürs Mitzählen lassen Ihres Briefes und Update-Funktion zu nutzen müssen Sie sich
einloggen oder
anmelden
Downloads
UA 106/22 english
Microsoft Word Document, 40.5 kB
UA 106/22 deutsch
Microsoft Word Document, 41.8 kB
UA 106/22 français
Microsoft Word Document, 41.1 kB
Mehr zum Thema

Menschenrechtsverteidiger

Grundlegende Infos über die Menschenrechte und die verschiedenen internationalen Abkommen. Mehr