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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and