Education International is continuing to exert pressure on the government of Cambodia to request the immediate release of Mr. Rong Chhun, President of CITA, and the withdrawal of arrest warrants against three other democratic leaders.
EI has written again to the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Mr Hun Sen. EI also asked its member organisations to make representation to the Cambodian Embassy in their country, and to encourage their government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the issue of freedom of expression and trade union rights with their Cambodian counterparts. Solidarity can make a difference for Mr Rong Chhung and his fellow trade unionists who advocate for a democratisation of Cambodia. Below is the content of the letter in English: Mr. Hun Sen Prime Minister Kingdom of Cambodia Phnom Penh , Cambodia Fax: +855 12 819 858 +855 23 724 059 Brussels , 20 December 2005 Dear Prime Minister, I am writing on behalf of Education International (EI), the global union federation of teachers and other education workers, which represents over 29 million members in 166 countries. EI counts the Cambodian Independent Teachers' Association (CITA) among its affiliates. As you may be aware, EI and other member organisations in Europe, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Japan, have raised concerns about your government’s treatment of trade unionists, students representatives and opponents in general. I recently sent you a letter condemning the arrest and detention of Mr. Rong Chhun, President of CITA, for using his right to freedom of expression. Mr Rong Chhun is still detained and arrest warrants have been issued for the same reason for other leaders of the democratic movement in Cambodia. EI urges you to order the immediate release of Mr. Rong Chhun, to drop all charges against the four union and student leaders currently being prosecuted, and to uphold freedom of expression and trade union freedom as fundamental principles of democracy in Cambodia. EI and teachers' unions worldwide, especially in Europe and Japan, are determined to continue to support their colleagues – Mr. Rong Chhun and his fellow trade unionists – in Cambodia. Yours sincerely, Fred van Leeuwen General Secretary