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Ex-workers accused of incitement

NGO worker also summoned in separate incitement complaint.

AT LEAST five laid-off workers received summonses on Wednesday to answer to criminal defamation, disinformation and incitement complaints, and one NGO provincial coordinator was summonsed to answer to a separate incitement complaint, continuing the recent spate of complaints that NGOs and other observers have criticised as aimed at curtailing free speech in the Kingdom.

Gregory Goh, the human resources director at NagaWorld Hotel and Casino, on July 20 filed a complaint accusing 14 employees involved in an ongoing labour dispute with criminal defamation, disinformation and incitement.

Five of the employees have been summonsed to Phnom Penh Municipal Court between today and Monday, and union leader Sok Narith, who was among the five, said they planned to appear.

"We did nothing wrong," said Sok Narith, head of a union that represents 1,000 Naga workers. "We have just made peaceful demands for the freedom of the workers. And so far we have not yet held any public protests."

The dispute stems from the layoffs of 14 Naga employees in February, which union leaders said resulted from a dispute over annual bonuses.
Naga management has blamed the economic crisis for the firings. The union has pushed for the reinstatement of the employees and in recent weeks has threatened on several occasions to strike.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Deputy Prosecutor Hing Bunchea told the Post Wednesday that he issued the summonses so as to investigate the complaints.

Goh could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Hay Voleap, Naga's deputy human resources manager, said he could not comment on the case.

Also Wednesday, Adhoc's Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator said he had received a summons to appear in provincial court in connection with an ongoing land dispute between the DM Group and ethnic minority villagers in Kanlaeng commune.

Investigating Judge Thoang Saron declined to say who had filed the incitement complaint against Pen Bonnar.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHRANN CHAMROEUN

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