The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons (GDP) plans to admit Rong Chhun, head of the Cambodia Watchdog Council (CWC), to hospital for surgery on his right eye. The transfer will occur when doctors summon him, according to GDP spokesman Nouth Savna.
Savna told The Post on September 7 that Chhun’s general health is normal, but his right eye has a severe condition.
“He did not have any other health problems, except for his eye, which required him to visit a doctor outside the prison. The doctor said the eye needs an operation and he would set a date for surgery. We will wait for when the doctor is ready, then we will admit Rong Chhun to hospital right away,” he said.
Chhun, who is also president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, was arrested on July 31 after posting statements on Facebook related to border issues between Cambodia and Vietnam in Tbong Khmum province. The government has accused him of incitement.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 18 sentenced Chhun to two years in prison for incitement to cause chaos under articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.
According to Savna, GDP sent Chhun to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for an examination on September 4. After the checkup, the doctor said that he had no problem and could return to Correctional Centre 1.
Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Ouk Chhayavy, who has close contact with Chhun, told The Post on September 7 that Chhun called her the previous day saying he had visited the doctor, but was only given medicine and sent back to prison the same day.
“The doctor advised him to come for regular checkups because he had a serious eye problem. This is what he told me,” she said.
She requested that Chhun be allowed to receive eye treatment at a hospital outside the prison as the condition could worsen if he remained in prison where treatment is limited.
“I am in contact with Rong Chhun’s lawyer to ask him to file a letter asking for permission to keep him out of jail for medical treatment,” she said.