News / Asia

Rights Groups Call for Activists' Release, as Cambodia Crackdown Continues

FILE - Garment workers attend a march on the streets to mark International Labor Day in Phnom Penh, May 1, 2013.
FILE - Garment workers attend a march on the streets to mark International Labor Day in Phnom Penh, May 1, 2013.
VOA News
Rights groups are calling for the release of peaceful activists arrested during a deadly crackdown on a strike by garment factory workers in the Cambodian capital.

Five people were killed and dozens injured last week when security forces moved in on protesters demanding higher wages for workers at the factory in Phnom Penh.

Twenty-three people, including labor rights activists and factory workers, were arrested in the ensuing crackdown, which included a general ban on demonstrations.

Human Rights Watch Thursday called for the immediate, unconditional release of any peaceful protesters. It also slammed Cambodia for holding the group incommunicado without access to proper medical care at a remote prison known for its harsh conditions.

Following days of demands by rights groups and family members, authorities on Wednesday finally allowed access to the prisoners, some of whom were injured during clashes with police.

Lawyers from the Cambodian rights group Licadho say they are preparing to file a request for the release of the detainees on bail.

Meanwhile, unauthorized protests continued Thursday. In the capital, hundreds of police cleared a small group of protesters in a park. One of the protesters, 21-year-old Heng SamnaNg, says security forces should be held accountable for the recent violence.

"We are protesting here to demand, one, to ask authorities to find justice for the victims killed in different police crackdowns, like Mr. Meo Sokchan at the sky bridge protest area, Mrs. Eng Sokhom at the SL Garment Factory protest and many workers killed and injured in the very recent crackdown. And secondly, to organize a new election."

Prime Minister Hun Sen faces a growing challenge to his 28-year rule, both from factory workers demanding higher pay and opposition forces demanding he step down and call a new election because of alleged vote fraud in a July poll.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid