Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chhouk Bandith's victims see hope in Sok Bun arrest

Chhouk Bandith's victims see hope in Sok Bun arrest

Keo Nea, Bun Chenda and Nuth Sakhorn (left to right), enter the grounds of the National Assembly yesterday morning to urge the government to bring Chhouk Bandith to justice.
Keo Nea, Bun Chenda and Nuth Sakhorn (left to right), enter the grounds of the National Assembly yesterday morning to urge the government to bring Chhouk Bandith to justice. Vireak Mai

Chhouk Bandith's victims see hope in Sok Bun arrest

Three factory workers shot more than three years ago by a town governor who remains at large have come to Phnom Penh to ask Prime Minister Hun Sen to take action in their case, given the recent success of the premier’s call to arrest a property tycoon for beating up a TV star.

On February 20, 2012, during a protest at the Kaoway shoe factory in Svay Rieng province, then Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith shot into the crowd numerous times with a pistol, injuring the three female workers.

After a lengthy court process that almost saw him escape any significant charge, Bandith was sentenced to spend 18 months in prison and pay $9,500 in compensation in 2013, but he remains on the run.

The women, Bun Chenda, Nuth Sakhorn, and Keo Nea, gathered at the National Assembly yesterday to ask its president, Heng Samrin, to urge the government to bring Bandith to justice.

“The incident happened more than three years ago and the courts have ruled on it, but Chhouk Bandith has never been arrested, while the little compensation he offered was never delivered.

Where is justice for poor and unprivileged people like us?” said Nuth Sakhorn, 25, who was shot in the chest by Bandith.

“Prime Minister [Hun Sen] has never talked about that.”

The women cited Sok Bun’s case as their inspiration.

The property developer was arrested and put in jail after a video of him brutally attacking television presenter Ek Socheata, otherwise known as Miss Sasa, went viral.

Prime Minister Hun Sen personally called for Bun’s arrest on July 16, about a week after the video began to circulate widely.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Cambodian Legal Education Centre, said Sok Bun and Chhouk Bandith’s cases show a “double standard”, since the three workers are low-profile while Sok Bun’s victim is a well-known TV presenter.

Tola said Bandith had “powerful” officials behind him who ensured he would not be arrested.

“In Cambodia, if there is an order from the prime minister, there will be immediate action. This is what those workers see,” he said.

Sok Khemrin, director of the Penal Police Department at the Ministry of Interior, said that police are still looking for to arrest Chhouk Bandith after Interpol issued a “wanted” note for him.

“We have the arrest warrant in the hands of our department. We are pushing our police to look for him. We really are paying attention to this issue,” he said.

“Even if there are any powerful people behind [him], we don’t care. As long as he’s arrested, he will serve the jail term.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,