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Lawyer for suspects in Bavet to apply for bail

The lawyer for 11 workers arrested during recent violent protests in the Svay Rieng province town of Bavet said yesterday that she would soon submit documents for the workers to be released on bail.

“According to the law, we have the right to bail them out, regardless of the result [of their case] which is the judge’s decision,” lawyer Sary Bothchakrya said.

Violent garment worker strikes over the minimum wage began on December 16 in Bavet, with both workers and authorities alleging violence.

In an attempt to smooth tensions, provincial authorities pledged on December 20 to release on bail four garment workers previously arrested for pelting factories with rocks.

The pledge remains unfulfilled, however, while authorities proceeded to arrest six more drivers and one more garment worker for allegedly throwing rocks at police and a fire truck on December 20.

Bothchakrya said the arrestees – five garment workers and six drivers in total – are in good health but are concerned about their cases due to their ongoing detention.

Svay Rieng provincial prosecutor Horm Mengsae could not be reached for comment.

Nouth Bopinnaroath, provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said the judge had little evidence to detain the drivers, who are lingering under detention while no in-depth investigation had been launched.

Bavet has quieted down since last week, when workers returned to their factories under police supervision.

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