Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ICC complaint to lay shootings at PM’s feet

ICC complaint to lay shootings at PM’s feet

ICC complaint to lay shootings at PM’s feet

The Cambodia National Rescue Party is preparing to file a complaint to the International Criminal Court against Prime Minister Hun Sen over the deadly violence against striking factory workers last week.

CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha told reporters yesterday that the party was working with the families of those killed when riot police on Friday opened fire on workers gathered at Veng Streng Boulevard in the capital’s Meanchey district.

A man is beaten by authorities outside the Yakjin garment factory on Thursday in Por Sen Chey district
A man is beaten by authorities outside the Yakjin garment factory on Thursday in Por Sen Chey district. POST STAFF

“We are preparing the procedure, and we have enough international lawyers to do this work,” Kem Sokha said, without elaborating.

He added he believed enough evidence had been amassed to sue Hun Sen at the court.

“[The crackdown] is enough for the national [and] international communities to see the mistake of the government, and I believe that … the international community would put pressure on the government to give back freedom to our people.”

Heang Rithy, president of the Cambodian National Research Organization, and Ny Chakrya, chief investigator at rights group Adhoc, argued that the violence was a systematic, disproportional use of force and not a response to clashes.

“Why can’t [we] file a complaint? There is adequate evidence now [to take the government to the ICC],” Rithy said. “This was not clashes, this was murder.”

Chakrya of Adhoc agreed.

“What took place at Veng Sreng Boulevard was arranged … to shoot on the crowd of people without targeting anyone specifically,” he said. “It was systematic. It was not a chance clash between workers and police.”

But Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed the move, saying it was unlikely to harm the government. “Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha and some allies are always thinking of the ICC to indict [members of the government]. A number of times, the ICC did not consider [such requests],” he said.

“My prime minister is a man of law, [trying to] make peace for the factory workers and bring back law and order. A number of countries do the same thing, because the majority needs peace, not mob violence.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DANIEL PYE

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked