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4 Jan 2022

CENTRAL and 118 others

Cambodia: 119 CSOs call on govt. to release Naga World union leaders and members as the strike continues

"Joint statement: Government Must Release NagaWorld Unionists and Respect Labour Rights", 4 January 2022

We … are dismayed by the measures taken by authorities, led by the Phnom Penh Police Commissariat, to detain 9 union leaders and members … and to further violently arrest LRSU union leader Chhim Sithar ... We call for all arrested unionists’ immediate and unconditional release…

… Among the nine unionists detained …, eight – Chhim Sokun, Sun Sreypich, Hai Sopheap, Ry Sovanndy, Rin Phalla, Eng Sreybo, Sun Sreymom, and Kleang Sobin – were arrested at the union office, while Touch Sereymeas was arrested while leaving the strike site in front of NagaWorld. The arrests of the nine were made after 2,000 members of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU) union conducted a peaceful strike for 13 days in order to demand NagaWorld re-instate 365 union leaders and members who were previously fired.

… After questioning, six union members and leaders – Chhim Sokhun, Kleang Sobin, Son Sreypich, Ry Sovanndy, Hai Sopheap, and Touch Sereymeas – were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Cour…

…, while the six leaders and members were being questioned, 400 members of the union continued to strike in front of Naga 2, and an additional 17 members were arrested (1 man and 16 women) and sent to the Phnom Penh Police Commissariat. One of the 17 detainees, a 3-month pregnant woman, was later released.

We, the civil society groups, call for authorities to drop all charges, release all detainees, and uphold their role as public servants professionally, with accountability and impartiality, in order to find a solution to this labour dispute…