Cam­bo­dian labour ac­tivist held in Thai­land

Gulf Times - - ASIA -

ACam­bo­dian labour ac­tivist faces de­por­ta­tion home from Thai­land over his role in mak­ing a sex­traf­fick­ing doc­u­men­tary that an­gered the South­east Asian na­tion’s gov­ern­ment, which dis­missed it as fake, his wife said yes­ter­day.

The rul­ing party of Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen has launched a crack­down on those it says are crit­ics of the gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing hu­man rights ad­vo­cates and op­po­si­tion politi­cians.

Rath Rott Mony, 47, was ar­rested in Bangkok yes­ter­day as he at­tempted to travel to the Nether­lands with his fam­ily af­ter help­ing pro­duce the doc­u­men­tary for the Rus­sia To­day chan­nel in Oc­to­ber.

His wife, Long Kimheang, told Reuters from Bangkok she feared Thai po­lice would send him back to Cam­bo­dia.

“Po­lice ar­rested my hus­band and they told me that Cam­bo­dian po­lice had sent them a doc­u­ment, say­ing he pro­duced a false story,” Long Kimheang said.

“I am wor­ried when they de­port my hus­band, he will be put in prison.”

Thai im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment.

In a state­ment, Rus­sia To­day said it was highly con­cerned about the de­ten­tion.

“We...are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to help re­solve the sit­u­a­tion, in­clud­ing via diplo­matic chan­nels,” it said, adding that it never pays par­tic­i­pants or in­ter­view sub­jects.

The doc­u­men­tary, ti­tled My Mother Sold Me, in­cluded an ac­count of a poor Cam­bo­dian girl who was sold into sex work, prompt­ing au­thor­i­ties to ques­tion those in­volved.

Au­thor­i­ties later said the mother and daugh­ter were paid to lie in the doc­u­men­tary, ac­cord­ing to Cam­bo­dian po­lice.

Cam­bo­dian po­lice spokesman Ch­hay Kim Khoeun con­firmed that po­lice had asked for Rath Rott Mony, pres­i­dent of the Cam­bo­dian Con­struc­tion Work­ers Trade Union Fed­er­a­tion (CCTUF), to be de­ported.

“The doc­u­men­tary is a madeup story that de­stroys Cam­bo­dia’s cul­ture and rep­u­ta­tion,” he said.

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