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5 Jan 2020

Reaksmey Hul, VOA

Cambodia: Workers and unions mark 6th anniversary of deadly crackdown on minimum wage protests in January 2014

"Unions to Mark 6th Anniversary Of Veng Sreng Crackdown", 2 January 2020

Trade unions and worker groups will mark six years since mixed security forces violently dispersed protesting garment workers on Veng Sreng Boulevard and other parts of the city, killing at least four individuals.

Vorn Pao, president of Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, said around 30 civil society groups would mark the occasion …

The informal worker representative was himself seriously injured during the crackdown, and said there was no way he could forget the skirmish because he had scars reminding him of his injuries.

… The garment worker protests, demanding $160 per month minimum wage, had amalgamated with the opposition boycott of the National Assembly, leading to a severe crackdown in early January 2014, across the city on all the protestors.

However, Chin Malin, a Justice Ministry spokesperson, said the protestors were violent and attempting to overthrow the government and those responsible were being held accountable

… While the government did not initiate an investigation into the violence meted out by security forces, the incidents have been documented in the European Union’s preliminary findings on whether Cambodia should lose its “Everything But Arms” trade privileges.

… Theng Savoeun, director of Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, said Cambodian courts should drop all the charges against unionists and workers, if the government was serious about the findings of the EU preliminary report.