I was public last week that I think independent unions should focus on economic issues and worker organization, rather than involving themselves in questions of national sovereignty. Regardless of how I feel about such strategic issues, this is disgusting: Chea Mony, President of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the FTUWKC, has started receiving death threats.
Death Threatening Email Toward Chea Mony
Free Trade Union President CHea Mony claimed to have received a death threat by e-mail on Monday after leading a small demonstration Sunday against the Thai troop presence in the dispute area near Preah Vihear temple.
The e-mail, which threatens Chea Mony with death unless he joins the ruling party, was sent from the address firstname.lastname@example.org, and its anonymous author claimed to be a union activist as well as an employee of the Interior Ministry.
“If you join the CPP, you can find [assassination former FTU leader] Chea Vichea’s killers, but if you join the SRP, everything will be the same,” said the e-mail “I don’t advise you which way to walk, but you need to have some powerful people behind you to protect your security, otherwise [people] will follow to assassinate you.” Chea Mony said he isn’t putting too much stock in the e-mail. “I am not concerned about my security. I feel normal, “he said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak questioned the letter’s authenticity and denied that any ministry officials were involved. “Chea Mony is not an important person. This is not a threat,” he said.
From the Cambodia Daily by Yun Samean, 21-08-2008
FTU President Chea Mony Received Death Threat E-Mail
FTU President Chea Mony received a death threat letter by email on Monday 18, August 2008 at 4:15 PM after riot police cracked down his rally on Sunday 17, August 2008 for a small peaceful demonstration against the Thai presence in the dispute area near Preah Vihear Temple and Ta Moan Thom Temple.
An anonymous e-mail accused Chea Mony joined with the Human Right Party who led by Kim Sokha and warned that the rally of both Rong Chhun and Chea Mony against Thai troop invasion was wrong.
The unknown author e-mail which was received on August 18, 2008 at 4:15 PM meaning both threatening and pity when the big political parties such as Sam Rainsy Party and Cambodian People Party have been functioning in the society, Chea Mony did not join with these two parties but Human Right Party which the e-mail claimed that this party has relationship to an opposition party in Thailand.
The e-mail also threaten that all documents or e-mails have been followed up and controlled and all his activities have been hunted by police.
Chea Mony rejected that he did not have any relation to any political party and he also did not file a complaint to authorities to the author of this threatening letter.
“I don’t involve in Kim Sokha’ s party at all. The author uses me to get something else done. I don’t involve in Kim Sokha, I don’t involve in People Party, I don’t involve in opposition party at all so I ignore all political parties but this is another politics of one who want to kill me, he just told me this party, that party to assassinate me then answer that this party murder that party”
Cambodian Independent Teacher Association President Rong Chhun who led with Chea Mony on Sunday rally said that”We know that at the end there is the threatening to Chea Mony’s insecurity…..all the points in the letter worry us via e-mail.”
Until today, Chea Mony does not file any complaint to the authorities because he loses confidence in the inefficient, corrupted and dependent judiciary system related to this anonymous author of this letter.
“I don’t file a complaint because none impartial investigation have been made or any suspects have been arrested in many high profile assassination over years including Ven. Som Bunthoeun, Funcinpec official Oam Rathsady, Apsara dancer Piset Pilika, FTU leader Chea Vichea, Ros Sovannret, Yim Ry, Hy Vuthy, popular singer Touch Sonich, Pov Pahnapich,Funcinpec Radio Journalist Chour Chetharith, Radio Ek Mongkul, opposition journalist Thun Bunly, Phnom Penh judge Soksetha Moni, as well as the recent murder of an opposition journalist Khem Sambo and his son who were shot in July ahead of national election, all have gone unsolved…they are death with injustice.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak told Kampuchea Thmey Daily that he didn’t receive any complaint from Mr. Chea Mony at all just to be aware of this information via journalist who interviewed him. He said that if Mr. Chea Mony files a complaint or not, it’s his right, no one force him and perhaps he thinks that he can responsible for himself.
“Chea Mony’ s accusation for another reason that I believe that this kind of accusation is an purpose that Chea Mony wants and let’s see this image….he might get escape to the third country or other place then claims that seeking threatening asylum “ added Khieu Sopheak “It just serves benefit Chea Mony wants…..don’t need to care at all.”
Labor Leader Receives Threat After Rally
By Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
Original report from Washington
21 August 2008
A labor leader received a threatening letter Wednesday, following demonstrations over the weekend by workers upset by the ongoing Preah Vihear standoff.
Chea Mony, who became the president of the Free Trade Union after the murder of his brother, Chea Vichea, in 2004, said he received a threatening letter by e-mail, asking to join the ruling Cambodian People’s Party or live in insecurity.
“They threatened me, wanting me to join the CPP and Human Rights Party,” Chea Mony said Wednesday.
Chea Mony led a demonstration of several hundred workers on Sunday to protest troop deployments at Preah Vihear temple, but authorities broke up the rally.
He had not filed a complaint with authorities, Chea Mony, said, because he had no faith in their ability to protect him.
Chea Vichea was gunned down in broad daylight, and two men widely believed to be innocent are serving 20-year sentences for the murder.
No suspects have ever been arrested in a number of high-profile murders over the years, including union leaders Ven Som Bunthoeun and Ros Sovannaret, Funcincpec official Oam Rathsady and film star Piseth Pilika.
The murder of an opposition journalist, Khim Sambor, who was shot in July ahead of national elections, has so far gone unsolved.
Ministry of Interior spokesman said it was Chea Vichea’s right whether to file a complaint, but he said the police have “tried our best” to arrest suspects in the murders.
Chan Saveth, a rights investigator for Adhoc, said the authorities should take the threat seriously.
“If it’s true, we are concerned about the safety of Mr. Chea Mony,” Chan Saveth said.