Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM chides protesting workers

PM chides protesting workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen poses for a photograph with garment workers at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Prime Minister Hun Sen poses for a photograph with garment workers at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh. Facebook

PM chides protesting workers

In a speech to more than 15,000 workers in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen chided garment workers for blocking the road during protests and called their actions “illegal”.

“You have a right to express your unhappiness with this or that thing,” Hun Sen said. “But you should not create obstacles for people.”

He also called on garment workers to take their concerns to the authorities, and warned them against “believing the incitement of a few people”.

The premier appeared to be referring to a demonstration on Veng Sreng Boulevard last Friday, where roughly 500 garment workers from Meng Da Footwear factory took to the streets to demand better wages.

Cambodian Center for Human Rights Executive Director Chak Sopheap noted that traffic rules cannot be used to arbitrarily justify restricting the right to freedom of assembly, according to UN standards for the management of demonstrations.

Cambodia’s own Law on Peaceful Demonstrations notes that a protest can only be banned in the event it “may cause danger or may seriously jeopardise security, safety and public order”.

“Too often in Cambodia, traffic flow is cited as a justification for prohibiting assemblies outright, which is rarely if ever acceptable under international human rights law,” Sopheap said.

Mouen Tola, executive director of Central, said that garment workers often take to the streets as a last resort after legal channels have failed them.

“We should look at the root cause and how the legal framework can be simplified to make the people confident that in a few days they’re going to have a resolution.”

Cambodian Center for Human Rights Executive Director Chak Sopheap's comments have been corrected to say that traffic rules cannot be used to arbitrarily justify restricting the right to freedom of assembly.

MOST VIEWED

  • Sihanoukville to begin road project

    The government will spend $200 million to improve Sihanoukville’s infrastructure. The eight-month project will involve the rebuilding of 34 streets with a total of more than 84km. Pal Chandara, the secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told The Post

  • Artefact is seized from American auctioneers

    Cambodian and US archaeologists on Thursday discussed the formalities and procedures of returning to Cambodia an artefact which was recently seized by US Homeland Security Investigators (HSI) from an auction house in San Francisco. On Monday, the HSI said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),

  • Bodhisattva statue unearthed

    The Apsara National Authority technical team uncovered a sandstone statue of a Bodhisattva while carrying out excavation work at the east entrance of the Ta Nei temple on October 8. The team was trying to find the temple’s roof stone, which had fallen into a

  • World Bank: Challenges facing the Kingdom

    Cambodia’s economy currently faces challenges including credit growth in the construction and real estate sectors, rising indebtedness and the possible withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement, said the World Bank Group’s latest forecast report on the Asia-Pacific economies. The