Union Workers Will March To Honor Chea Vichea

Some 100 people will gather this morning to lay a wreath at the Phnom Penh newsstand where Free Trade Union leader Chea Vichea was gunned down three years ago today, FTU President Chea Mony said.

Unionists and NGO workers will march from the FTU headquarters in Chamkar Mon district at 8 am to the newsstand outside Wat Langka where the country’s top unionist was killed Jan 22, 2004, he said.

Chea Mony made the announ­cement at a commemoration ceremony for his late brother in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district Saturday.

The Phnom Penh Municipality has given approval for today’s march, according to a Friday statement from the municipality.

Chea Mony on Sunday urged the government to release Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, the two men serving 20-year sentences for Chea Vichea’s execution-style killing.

“I do not believe the two were the murderers,” Chea Mony said, before urging the government to arrest the real killers.

Morm Nhim, director of the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia, also said he believed the two men are innocent.

“The government could not find the true killers but only fake ones,” she said.

In October, the Appeals Court failed to hold the much-anticipated appeal hearing of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun when one of three judges, Samreth Sophal, failed to attend because he had diarrhea.

The two men were found guilty by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August 2005, but nearly one and a half years later, the appeal against their conviction has not been heard.

Ly Vouch Leng, president of the Appeals Court, could not be reach­ed for comment Sunday.

Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kan­harith said that it was up to the courts to decide whether the two men were innocent.

He accused rights workers and the FTU of failing to help find Chea Vichea’s true killers.


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