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Stranded workers: Cambodians call for swift repatriation

Stranded workers: Cambodians call for swift repatriation

THE families of 24 Khmer workers being held in Thailand to give testimony in the case of a meatball factory owner accused of mistreating his employees have made another request to the Cambodian government to help speed their return home in time for the Pchum Ben Festival, which runs from today until October 8.

“We want the remaining 24 Khmer workers to get back to Cambodia ... to see their families and to participate in the celebrations,” said Long Keo, a representative of the families. He said he had made a direct appeal to Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong. “They cannot wait until the court tries the case because it will be too long,” he said.

On September 10, three workers were returned to Cambodia by Thai authorities, while another escaped from the vocational training centre where the workers were being held, not wishing to testify.

Koy Kuong said on Wednesday that the workers should remain in Thailand to give their testimony. “The incident happened in Thailand, so we have to abide by Thai law,” he said

Lim Tech, an official of the Thai-Cambodian Border Relations Office, said the workers are scheduled to testify on October 5.

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