Human rights group Adhoc will investigate the dismissals of seven teachers who said they were fired earlier this year for campaigning for the Sam Rainsy Party and Funcinpec, an Adhoc investigation official said Tuesday.
The teachers “disagree with [their dismissal] and want to work again,” the Adhoc official said. Six of the teachers are Sam Rainsy Party activists and one is a Funcinpec supporter, said the official, who asked not to be named.
Yang Sok Chea, an elementary school teacher from Pursat province, claimed he was sacked after taking five days off from work between March 11 and March 16. He made the complaint in a letter to Adhoc dated Tuesday.
When he returned to teach at Boeng Kan Tout primary school in Krakor district, the school director told him he would no longer be allowed to teach, Yang Sok Chea wrote. The school authorities “discriminate against me because I am a Sam Rainsy activist,” he said.
The dismissals were confirmed in a copy of a Ministry of Education announcement dated July 4.
The announcement was signed by Pok Than, Funcinpec secretary of state at the Education Ministry. Pok Than said Tuesday he was uncertain why the teachers were dismissed. They could have been sacked for political campaigning, he said. He added that they may have been dismissed for lengthy work absences. “Generally we do not fire teachers when we really badly need them,” he said. “But we need some discipline also.”