Rights Groups Want Access to 23 Detained Prisoners

Two human rights groups on Friday appealed to Interior Minister Sar Kheng to intervene after the General Department of Prisons, which is part of the Interior Ministry, refused to allow representatives from their organizations to meet with some of the 23 union activists and protesters arrested in early January.

In an open letter, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian Labor Organization asked why their attempts to meet with Vorn Pao, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, and some of the other detainees, had been denied. 

“The investigating judge has not identified our organizations or any of our members as individuals who should be prevented from visiting the detainees; therefore the General Department of Prison should grant us a permit to visit our friends and colleagues,” the letter says.

“[W]e would like to require [Mr. Kheng] who has the General Department of Prison as a secretariat, to consider our request accordingly,” it adds.

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