News / Asia

    Trial of Cambodian Labor Activists Resumes Amid Clashes

    An activist of Cambodian National Rescue Party Meach Sovannara, center, gives a speech as he is surrounded by local journalists at a blocked main street near the Phnom Penh Municipality Court during a gathering to call for the release of anti-government protesters who were arrested in a police crackdown, in Phnom Penh, May 20, 2014.
    An activist of Cambodian National Rescue Party Meach Sovannara, center, gives a speech as he is surrounded by local journalists at a blocked main street near the Phnom Penh Municipality Court during a gathering to call for the release of anti-government protesters who were arrested in a police crackdown, in Phnom Penh, May 20, 2014.
    Heng Reaksmey
    Protesters in Cambodia have clashed outside the Phnom Penh courthouse where the trial of 23 labor activists has resumed.

    Hundreds of police and security personnel were deployed Tuesday around the court, where they clashed with demonstrators who want the activists released.  At least four people were injured, as supporters attempted to break through police barricades.

    The activists are charged with inciting and committing violence during labor demonstrations in January.  Ten of them were questioned Tuesday for their roles in protesting outside the Yak Ching garment factory near Phnom Penh.

    One of the defendants, Vorn Pov, denied the charges against him.  Vorn Pov said he was severely beaten by members of an elite military unit that is blamed for the deaths of five activists during the January violence.

    Vorn Pov's wife, Prak Sovannary, said in an interview with VOA's Khmer service that she is relieved the hearings will continue without any more lengthy delays.

    “If there is no pressure, my husband and 20 other accused will be found not guilty.  I am also delighted that the next hearing is not delayed for two weeks like last time.  It will continue tomorrow," said Sovannary.

    The trial of the 23 activists has been heavily criticized by rights groups, who say the defendants are being tried to discourage further demonstrations.
     
    Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, said the court has linked this case to politics.

    “Seeing this hearing makes me think that justice for the accused is still too far away because this case is based on political situation without taking into account the principle of equality before the law and the principle of justice for everybody," said Ath.

    Five people were killed and 40 injured by an elite military unit that fired into a crowd protesting outside Phnom Penh in January.  Authorities have refused to investigate whether the security forces acted unlawfully.

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

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora