“Who Killed Chea Vichea?”, a documentary about the assassination of Cambodian union leader Chea Vichea, has been banned from being shown in Cambodia.

The documentary questions the arrest and conviction of two Cambodians for the murder of Vichea. 

Vichea was president of Cambodia’s free trade union.  For years he fought for increased wages and better working conditions for Cambodia’s 300,000 garment workers.  He was shot and killed in 2004.  Under intense world wide pressure, Cambodian officials arrested two men and after extracting confessions, sentenced them to 20 years in prison.

But many questions remained. The documentary proposes that those accused of the murder were framed, and draws a line of responsibility all the way to Cambodia’s ruling party. The movie premiered last month at Cannes and has received accolades from film festivals world wide.

In Cambodia, trade unionists tried to hold the Cambodian premier of the move at the location where Vichea was assassinated. A police raid ensued, the projector and screens were seized, and Prime Minister Jun Sen declared that the film was an illegal import.

Surprising many, the Cambodian supreme court reopened the case against the two men in 2008, and they were provisionally released in 2009.