Union Leader Ready to Pay Bulk of Bail

Independent union leader Ath Thorn said Sunday he had collected enough money from supporters to pay most of his $25,000 bail to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and would deliver it to the court Monday.

The court has charged Mr. Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, with inciting violence at a garment factory strike in September and ordered him to pay the bail in full by next Monday to avoid pretrial detention.

Mr. Thorn said he had collected about $10,000 from union members and other supporters, and another $10,000 from union and workers rights groups, including the International Trade Union Confederation.

“Although we do not have enough money, we can give them what we have collected,” he said. “We will continue collecting until we have enough.”

He said he would also use the trip to file a complaint against last month’s court order telling him to avoid public gatherings and not to visit the factory at the center of the case against him or meet any of its employees.

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