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SL protesters appeal for bail

Two suspects arrested during a deadly garment-worker demonstration in November appealed for bail at the Supreme Court yesterday.

Vann Ny and Vann Norn have been detained since an intended march of striking SL Garment factory workers devolved into a riot on November 12, at which participants burned police vehicles and trapped police in a pagoda building until police opened fire on the crowd with live ammunition, killing a food vendor.

“If they burned the car, why would they walk into a crowd of police?” defence attorney Sereyvuth Chakrya asked in court.

A third suspect was previously granted bail on December 25. The men worked at a construction site near the Stung Meanchey Bridge, where a police blockade stopping the group from marching to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house sparked a clash, which led to violence, Chakrya said.

In court, Meanchey district deputy police chief Neb Vibo said he was knocked unconscious when a projectile from a slingshot hit him in the mouth.

He added that he finds union leaders more culpable for the violence than the suspects.

“The demonstration did not occur because of individual workers, but the union leaders escaped when we cracked down,” Vibo said.

A decision will be handed down on April 25.

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