Around 70 workers from the Cosmo Textile garment factory yesterday submitted a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet asking for the release of four unionists arrested from their factory for allegedly conducting an illegal protest.

Two of the unionists were dismissed from the factory for allegedly failing to stamp their attendance cards and went on strike inside the factory the following day. The two – Chhean Vannak and Moeun Chhit – were summonsed to the Kandal court last week, along with witness Lok Neang, and then arrested. Unionist Phan Sary was arrested later.

The petition called for their release, with workers saying they would not return to work until the four were out of prison. Ouen Kim Chhoeun, a worker, said she was afraid more workers might be arrested for supporting the four.

“I heard rumours that my name was among four male workers and two or three female workers who will be arrested,” he said.

He added that a co-worker claimed police visited his house to arrest him as well, but Thi Chiv Chantha, deputy police chief for Ang Snuol district, said that no more warrants had been issued.