News / Asia

Cambodian Protest Leaders Briefly Detained Outside US Embassy

A protester cries in front of the U.S embassy after others were detained by security guards during an attempt to deliver a petition to the embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 21, 2014.
A protester cries in front of the U.S embassy after others were detained by security guards during an attempt to deliver a petition to the embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 21, 2014.
Heng Reaksmey
A group of Cambodian protest leaders were briefly detained by police in Phnom Penh Tuesday when they gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy to submit a petition calling for the release of 23 activists arrested this month during a deadly crackdown on a strike by garment factory workers.

The 11 were released later in the day after they signed promises not to join in more anti-government rallies.

Among the eight arrested were outspoken activists Rong Chhun, head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, and Tep Vanny, who was also detained earlier this month after leading a rally outside the French Embassy.

​Sia Phearum, director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said protesters were calling for international help in obtaining the release of the detainees, who have been held far from family support and legal counsel.

Police ask an activist to stand near the U.S. embassy and wait for officials to receive her petition that calls for U.S. intervention to release union leaders and workers arrested in early January, Phnom Penh, Jan. 21, 2014. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA)Police ask an activist to stand near the U.S. embassy and wait for officials to receive her petition that calls for U.S. intervention to release union leaders and workers arrested in early January, Phnom Penh, Jan. 21, 2014. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA)
x
Police ask an activist to stand near the U.S. embassy and wait for officials to receive her petition that calls for U.S. intervention to release union leaders and workers arrested in early January, Phnom Penh, Jan. 21, 2014. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA)
Police ask an activist to stand near the U.S. embassy and wait for officials to receive her petition that calls for U.S. intervention to release union leaders and workers arrested in early January, Phnom Penh, Jan. 21, 2014. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA)
​"We regret that in Cambodia the act of violating the law is growing bigger and bigger," he said. "We see that democracy and the respect of human rights are sliding backward toward dictatorial regime."

Officials in the Cambodian capital declined to comment Tuesday.

The 23 activists were detained following an incident on January 3, when five people were killed and 40 injured by an elite military unit that fired into a crowd protesting outside Phnom Penh.

The protesters were demanding a doubling of the minimum wage to $160 per month.

Meanwhile, supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party saw their own gathering disrupted in Kandal province, the home base of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy said police were attempting to incite violence among opposition supporters, so the rally was canceled.

Eng Chhay Eang, a CNRP member of parliament and head of working group for Kandal province, said the rally was canceled because police were attempting to incite violence among opposition supporters.

"This is because they injected hundreds of their agents who are bodyguards of CPP leaders into members of the audience so if we continue our meeting, something could be exploded," Eang said. "Therefore, we have decided to postpone the meeting and let people go back home."

The government has not responded to the allegation.

The CNRP has been demanding that Hun Sen step down and call new elections because of alleged fraud in the July parliamentary polls.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service. Kong Sothanarith also contributed to this report from Phnom Penh.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Julie from: Georgia
January 22, 2014 10:20 AM
The Evil Hun Sen will not step down no matter what. He would rather kill all these people than to step down. He is a traitor. All foreign countries should stop their support for his government, especially the US and all European countries. The money donated to Cambodia only make Hun Sen more greedy. If anybody wants to help the people of Cambodia, the best way to help is to bring down Hun Sen.
In Response

by: sovanarith from: canada
January 22, 2014 7:53 PM
you are correct,he is EVIL also he is control by vietnam who tell him what to do, the US and European country should go in and arrest him like what they did to Sadame in Iraq!

by: Cambode from: California
January 21, 2014 2:24 PM
If you live in a repression society where there is no one to help, but threaten you, the only people left to ask for help are those in the foreign embassies. I hope the international communities can help make Cambodia a better place to visit & do business with -- please help fighting/eliminating the repression, because it is more humanity than just donating money alone.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs