Briefs: Seng Chan Theary Release Bid Fails, Naga Protests Continue

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NagaWorld protesters on September 30, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to reject a motion from Cambodian-American lawyer Seng Chan Theary to release her from prison pending appeals to her June conviction as part of a mass trial against CNRP members.

Chan Theary was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison in June alongside dozens of other opposition defendants for plotting and incitement. The case was related to the failed attempt by former CNRP president Sam Rainsy to return to Cambodia in 2019.

Choung Chou Ngy, Seng Chan Theary’s lawyer, had filed a motion in the Appeal Court in late August asking for her to be released from prison pending her reviews of her conviction in June. The Appeal Court rejected this request.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed with the Appeal Court’s decision and said that releasing Chan Theary from prison would cause chaos and affect public order. Judge Kong Srim ordered that Chan Theary remain in prison.

Chou Ngy expressed his disappointment at the decision. “Another reason from the Supreme court is to keep public order. This reasoning concludes that Seng Theary will commit crimes, so it is unacceptable.”

Chan Theary was moved to the Preah Vihear provincial prison shortly after her conviction, as again prison officials alleged she would incite incidents at the womens’ prison in Phnom Penh.

— Khan Leakhena

NagaWorld Workers Continue Protest

Unionists from NagaWorld continued their monthslong protest on Friday, gathering outside the Phnom Penh casino over alleged union-busting. The labor action began last December following mass layoffs that the workers say targeted union leaders and members. Most of the more than 1,300 fired workers accepted termination packages, but around 200 unionists continue to oppose the layoffs. Though protesters previously faced violence and were prevented from reaching the casino entrance, in recent weeks, and on Friday, authorities allowed them to rally outside NagaWorld. (Photos by Hean Rangsey/VOD)

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