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Labor Activists Receive Suspended Sentences on Violence Charges

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday issued a verdict in the case of 23 labor activists and two minors, finding them guilty of charges related to violent demonstrations but releasing them on suspended sentences. Four of the accused were fined about $2,000. The decision brings to a close a trial that was widely criticized as deeply flawed and as an attempt to curtail future demonstrations, following a violent crackdown on labor protesters in January. The UN’s office of human rights and the International Labor Organization welcomed the release of the 25 but urged an investigation into January’s brutal crackdown, which left at least four dead and dozens injured. (Heng Reaksmey and Suy Heam Khemara, Phnom Penh)