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8 Mar 2022

Keat Soriththeavy, VOD

Cambodia: High Commissioner for Human Rights criticises authorities' use of COVID-19 measures to restrict strikers' freedoms as govt. set to discuss the issue

"Sar Kheng Will Hold Meeting ‘to Listen’ About NagaWorld Dispute", 8 March 2022

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng will head a high-level meeting ... to discuss the nearly three-monthlong NagaWorld protests, according to a letter ...

The letter ... says the meeting will include heads of the National Police, Phnom Penh court, municipal police, military police and officials from the ministries of interior, labor and justice...

Interior Ministry secretary of state Sak Setha confirmed the meeting was scheduled to take place but said it was only to discuss the near-daily protests by NagaWorld workers, and not an attempt to find a solution to the labor dispute.

“Samdech [Sar Kheng] wants to listen to the municipality’s report on how far [the issue] has developed. It is not a meeting to find solutions and it is an internal meeting,” Setha said.

The meeting will also coincide with a deadline set by NagaCorp for active workers who have joined the strike to return to work or be fired, and for around 300 laid-off workers who have not yet agreed to their termination to accept compensation packages.

... Meanwhile at Prek Pnov, around 180 NagaWorld workers remained at a quarantine facility after they were detained ... while attempting to resume their demonstrations...

...Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, mentioned the protest in her speech to the Human Rights Council ... She pointed to the Cambodian authorities’ use of Covid-19 restriction as a “pretext to break a lawful strike by casino workers.”

“In contrast to measures applied to the general public, strikers have been arbitrarily detained and forced to test multiple times for COVID-19,” she said...