Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists stage third Russian embassy ‘filmmaker’ protest

Activists stage third Russian embassy ‘filmmaker’ protest

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An elderly supporter of detained ‘filmmaker’ Rath Rott Mony is among protestors who gathered for a third time outside the Russian embassy demanding his release on Wednesday. HENG CHIVOAN

Activists stage third Russian embassy ‘filmmaker’ protest

More than 10 family members and supporters of detained alleged filmmaker Rath Rott Mony gathered outside the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Phnom Penh for a third time on Wednesday, reiterating calls for his release.

The group had initially submitted a petition to the embassy on December 18 calling for its support and that of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rott Mony, the Cambodian Construction Workers Trade Union Federation president, was arrested on December 7 by Thai police for his alleged role as a producer of the controversial documentary, My Mother Sold Me, that was aired in October by Russian state news network RT.

It is alleged that a woman featured in the documentary, which was investigating human trafficking in the Kingdom, was wrongly accused by the film of attempting to sell her daughter’s virginity.

Thai police arrested and deported Rott Mony on December 12 at the request of Cambodian authorities. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court then ordered his detention the following day under Article 496 of the Criminal Code.

Rott Mony claims he was only an intermediary and translator for the film.

If convicted, he faces one to three years in prison and a fine of two to four million riel ($500-$1,000).

Rott Mony’s wife, Long Kimheang, told The Post on Wednesday: “I protested demanding the Russian embassy’s intervention to release my husband from prison.

“I will keep protesting because the Russian government should ensure RT is able to report its films in a professional manner."

“The Cambodian government arrested and imprisoned a translator. The Russian government should intervene to free the translator from prison because it is its obligation . . . The [film] did not make false claims about sex trafficking in Cambodia.”

Former Boeung Kak activist Kim Touch, who joined the protest on Wednesday, also told The Post that the Russian government is obligated to help free Rott Mony.

“Rott Mony was merely a translator but he was imprisoned, which is unfair. RT is a Russian-controlled media company, so the Russian government is responsible,” she said.

Touch said they would continue to protest in front of the embassy every week if the Russians failed to intervene.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the spokesman and senior investigating officer for rights group Adhoc, also said the Russian government was obliged to intervene: “RT, a Russian media company, was the publisher and has responsibility for [the film’s] content, meaning and images.”

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Rott Mony had not been convicted and is only a suspect.

“It is the court’s right [to make a decision], not the work of the ministry. He is just a suspect, so he should find a lawyer to solve his problem,” Sopheak said.


  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the