Supreme Court upholds ban of 13 former CNRP teachers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rong Chhun was among one of the 11 protesting teachers with ties to the CNRP that was banned from working at public schools. Hong Menea

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld an appellate court verdict banning 11 teachers with ties to the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) from working at public schools.

The court first heard their complaint requesting to be reinstated as State teachers on August 24. None of them was present to hear the verdict on Monday.

Reading the verdict in the presence of defence lawyer Choung Chou Ngy, Judge Nil Nunn said the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport took appropriate action in firing the teachers according to the law.

“The Supreme Court sees that the decision of the Appeal Court is proper according to the law. We, therefore, uphold the Appeal Court’s ruling,” Judge Nunn said.

Chou Ngy regretted the decision.

“They actually don’t want to give up their jobs as officials at the education ministry. They still want to perform their work for the ministry,” he said.

He said 13 teachers were fired, but only 11 protested. The protesting teachers are Vong Runny, Kong Sivong, Chhum Chan, Hong Sochea, Yin Chunrath, Kham Sitha, Muth Phalla, Ly Dy, Peak Mab, Rong Chhun and Chan Sopheap.

All of them come from Phnom Penh and various provinces including Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Prey Veng, Kampong Cham and Battambang, he added.

The teachers were members of the Supreme Court-dissolved CNRP. Some became district council members and one became a district chief in Siem Reap. However, in 2017, they were banned from teaching for the State.

Chou Ngy said the judge’s reasoning for the verdict was that some teachers were absent from their job and therefore forfeited it.

Chou Ngy added the teachers were expecting to receive a warning from the ministry, but instead the ministry never called them to work.

Dy, one of the teachers, told The Post on Monday that there was never a thorough investigation. Had the court done so, Dy said, it would not have rejected their complaints. He said each of the teachers has at least 30 years of teaching experience.

Chunrath was a teacher at Trapaing Mnoas primary school in Kampot province’s Dang Tong district and a former provincial council member of the CNRP. He told The Post on Monday that he was not surprised by the court’s decision.