New York-based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged the Thai authorities not to force dissident Rath Rott Mony to face punishment in Cambodia.
The president of the Cambodian Construction Workers Trade Union Federation (CCTUF) was arrested in Bangkok last Friday after a request by the government in Phnom Penh.
There are strong reasons to believe that Rath Rott Mony would face politically motivated prosecution, wrongful detention and ill-treatment in Cambodia, Human Rights Watch said.
“Thailand should not do Cambodia’s bidding by forcibly returning an outspoken activist who exposed police failures to stop abuses and child sex trafficking,” said Brad Adams, the NGO’s Asia director. “Thai authorities should immediately release Rath Rott Mony and allow him to seek protection from the United Nations refugee agency.”
The Cambodian police are believed to be unhappy about his role in the production of the RT documentary “My Mother Sold Me”, which included accounts of impoverished girls sold into sex work.
Cambodia accused the documentary makers of paying the girls and their mothers to lie to harm Cambodia’s reputation.
The Thai authorities have frequently collaborated with the Cambodian government to harass, arrest and forcibly return exiled dissidents, including opposition politicians, human rights activists and journalists, the NGO said.
It is critically important for the Thai authorities not to put Rath Rott Mony into harm’s way in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said.