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4 Jan 2022

Gerald Flynn & Phoung Vantha, Cambodianess

Cambodia: Authorities arrest NagaWorld union leader and two senior members after 15-day strike; NGOs are accused of illegally funding union's activities

"NagaWorld Union Leader Arrested in Chaotic Scenes Outside Australian Embassy", 4 January 2022

Arriving from an undisclosed location in Phnom Penh to National Assembly street where roughly 500 NagaWorld unionists continued their strike …, Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU) President Chhim Sithar was scarcely out of the car before she was rushed by police.

In a flurry of limbs, Sithar was detained by a number of plain clothes and uniformed police, one of whom held her in a headlock before the union leader was shoved around and eventually detained, despite the efforts of unionists who descended on the scene. By 4 p.m., Sithar was forced into a car by police who set about clearing a path for the vehicles swift exit. Police attempted to subdue one other woman, but it is unclear who she was or why authorities wanted to arrest her…

Deputy Prosecutor Seng Heang, who previously prosecuted activists from environmental group Mother Nature, said that he had uncovered financial records from laptops confiscated when police raided the LRSU office on New Year’s Eve.

He said there was a transaction of $5,000, but did not detail who received the sum or from who.

“We strictly implement the law due to its [the union’s] wicked tricks and plans of those masterminds to cause turmoil to public order and disturb social security and get illegal sponsorship from foreign and local institutions,” he said.

Banding together, 119 unions, NGOs and community groups issued a joint statement condemning the arrests of LRSU leaders and called for the unconditional release of all those detained ....