CAMBODIA: Two of 23 detainees released on bail

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that two of the 23 detainees, one of whom is a minor, were released on bail on February 8. The AHRC welcomes the granting of bail and the release of these detainees; however, it notes with apprehension that 21 others remain in detention.

UPDATED INFORMATION: (Based on the documentation by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights -LICADHO-)

As mentioned in our previous appeal (AHRC-UAC-015-2014), we reported the arrest, detention and prosecution of the 23 protestors, composed of labour leaders, garment workers and ordinary villagers, during a protest for the increase of wages on January 2 and 3, 2014 in Yakjin Factory and Canadia Industrial Park.

On February 8, Bou Sarith (27) and Yon Sok Chea (17) were released on bail from the Correctional Centre 3 in Kampong Cham prison and Kampong Cham provincial prison respectively. The lawyers for the detainees received the summons from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for bail hearing on February 7, and after an hour’s hearing the court decided to grant the bail. (For details, see also: Two of the 23 now free prior to appeal bail hearing)

Furthermore, the court will continue to hear the bail application of the remaining 21 detainees tomorrow, February 11. Earlier, on January 21, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had already rejected the petition of the detainees for bail.


Bou Sarith, is 27 years old and lives in Russey Village, Steung Meanchey Commune, Meanchey District, Phnom Penh. He is a Garment worker. He was arrested on January 3, 2014 near the Canadia Industrial Park, Veng Sreng Road

Sarith lives with his mother and two of his siblings who are still at school. Sarith helps to support the family by working in a garment factory. He has two other siblings who are married and live with their families.

Sarith left school at an early age (between grade three and four) and started working to support his family. “He works very hard to support his family, so he is not married yet”, his mother says. He does not have much free time, but when he does, he likes to play football.

According to his family, Sarith was not involved in the demonstrations, but on the evening of January 3, he had gone on his bicycle to see them with his friend. His friend managed to escape on the bicycle, but Sarith was forcefully arrested. If it had not been for Sarith’s friend who went to tell his family, they believe, they would not have known about his arrest for several days. Sarith had a lot of facial bruising when his family visited him in prison.

Yon Sok Chea, is 17 years old, lives in Barach Village, Prey Knes Commune, Mesang District, Prey Veng. He is a Garment worker at E Khang factory. He was one of those arrested on January 3, 2014 near Canadia Industrial Park, Veng Sreng Road

Chea is the middle of five children. Chea, his mother and two of his siblings work as garment workers. Chea has worked in the garment industry since he was 14 years old. He gives most of his salary to his family and rarely buys anything for himself. He works seven days a week and never has spare time.

Chea left school at grade four to start washing cars and motorbikes to support his family. He has been working in the garment factory since 2010. His mother did not want him to join the demonstrations but Chea felt it was important to protest for a wage increase. Chea’s mother says that when he was arrested Chea tried to talk to the security forces and explain that he was only there for the demonstration and had nothing to do with burning tires and stone throwing.

The security forces did not want to listen to him and asked him why he didn’t stay at home if he had nothing to do with the violence. Then they arrested him. His family wants justice for Chea. “The police did not give a warning before they started shooting, one man was shot in his stomach and one in his hand”, his mother says.

On January 17, Chea was transferred to Kampong Cham prison after being held in CC3 together with the other 22 detained men. Recent X rays taken at Kampong Cham provincial hospital showed multiple fractures of his hand caused by beatings from the police on January 3.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk 
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (