Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Mony strike must follow the law: ministry

Chea Mony strike must follow the law: ministry

Chea Mony strike must follow the law: ministry

100125_06
Mourners assemble and arrange a floral tribute to be carried on a march Friday from union offices to Wat Langka to commemorate the slaying of union leader Chea Vichea.

AN Interior Ministry spokesman said Sunday that officials would allow a weeklong protest, proposed by the brother of slain labour union leader Chea Vichea, to take place as long as it adheres to a recently passed demonstration law that critics have slammed as undemocratic.

On Friday, union leaders and opposition lawmakers threatened to hold a week-long strike if authorities failed to find the perpetrators who gunned down Chea Vichea at a newsstand in the capital six years ago.

Khieu Sopheak said Sunday that Free Trade Union President Chea Mony was free to call for a strike, but that he must respect the law.

“If he abides by the law, we will give him permission,” Khieu Sopheak said, adding that the government would take “legal action” against Chea Mony if the law is not obeyed.

Criticism of protest law
But critics have slammed the law that governs protests, warning that it could restrict freedom of expression.

The Law on Nonviolent Demonstrations, approved by the National Assembly last October, requires that organisers apply for official permits from the government 12 hours ahead of time if gatherings are to include more than 200 people. According to Chea Mony, 70,000 garment workers are members of the FTU.

Opposition parties warned when the law was passed that it would allow authorities to use security concerns as a “pretext” for snuffing out legitimate protests.

Khieu Sopheak also said Sunday that he did not believe many workers would participate in such a strike because of the potential loss to their incomes.

“I believe workers understand the consequences of demonstrations and strikes,” he said. “If they strike, it is like they are kicking out their own rice pots.”

Chea Vichea’s killing, on January 22, 2004, prompted authorities to arrest two men who Chea Mony believed were innocent. The Supreme Court ordered the pair’s release in December 2008, citing contradictory evidence. The two men, Born Samnang and Sok Samoeun, remain free, pending a new investigation.

“We want to give a message to the government,” Chea Mony said Friday. “It is time to bring the real perpetrators to face the courts.… If you do not find the real killers, we will choose a date to strike.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all