Authorities in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh violently clashed with some 100, principally feminine former on line casino employees demanding to be reinstated to their jobs on Thursday, breaking the nostril of 1 girl and leaving a number of others injured, in accordance with sources.
The previous employees are from a bunch that has been holding common protests since they had been amongst 1,300 laid off by the NagaWorld On line casino in December 2021. The employees say they had been unfairly fired and supplied insufficient compensation, though solely round 150 proceed to protest, as an rising quantity have accepted payouts after months of no wage and repeated confrontations with police.
At round 2 p.m. on Thursday, dozens of authorities blocked the group from holding a protest outdoors the on line casino with metallic barricades, and rained blows down on those that tried to take away them, in accordance with Bun Sina, one of many former employees.
“I got here to demand the appropriate to hunt justice, [as the situation] has not but been resolved, however I used to be kicked within the thigh by the authorities,” she informed RFA Khmer, including that she was shocked by the brutality of the officers.
“How way more of this violence and torture will we’ve to endure from the authorities earlier than this dispute is resolved?”
One other employee named Solar Sreynich informed RFA she was punched within the face by a police officer throughout the scuffle, inflicting her to bleed from the nostril and cross out.
“We had been kneeling in entrance of the safety forces and begging to be allowed to go to the NagaWorld constructing, however they assumed we had been attacking them and fought us,” she mentioned.
“The officer hit me full drive along with his fist, breaking my nostril and making me bleed. The blow knocked me unconscious,” she added, saying she remains to be in ache from the harm.
The 2 sides clashed for round quarter-hour earlier than resuming a verbal confrontation throughout the barricade line. The previous employees ultimately left the world round 5 p.m.
Following the incident, the Phnom Penh authorities issued an announcement calling the rally “unlawful” for disrupting site visitors and accusing protesters of deliberately attacking the repute of the authorities by orchestrating the conflict.
“They created an occasion to place the blame on the federal government, inciting and upsetting anger by cursing and insulting public officers earlier than smashing 20 barricades and utilizing violence in opposition to safety forces who tried to dam their path,” the assertion mentioned.
“All employees ought to cease their illegal demonstrations and attempt to resolve the dispute with the authorities,” it added.
Greater than eight months because the layoffs, NagaWorld has mentioned it should solely focus on severance packages with former employees and Cambodia’s Ministry of Labor has deferred the matter to the courts. However the employees say they will’t afford to deliver a lawsuit in opposition to the corporate and have urged the federal government to intervene within the dispute.
Earlier on Thursday, a bunch of round 50 former NagaWorld employees and commerce union representatives gathered to submit a petition to the Ministry of Labor, requesting that authorities drop fees in opposition to Cambodian Alliance of Commerce Unions President Yang Sophorn, who the ministry has accused of organizing the protests.
The petition additionally requested a gathering with Labor Minister Ith Samheng to discover a decision to the dispute.
NagaWorld Union President Chhim Sithaw met with Labor Ministry officers on Thursday and informed RFA she was “disillusioned” by their response, though she didn’t present particulars of what was mentioned.
“We solely see that the federal government – by Metropolis Corridor, the Ministry of Labor, the judiciary, the Ministry of Well being, authorities in any respect ranges – is standing by the NagaWorld firm, which is prohibited by regulation,” she mentioned.
“They’ve a job in mediation, not in defending one aspect, and so they should stay unbiased on this dispute.”
Makes an attempt by RFA to contact Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Bitter for remark went unanswered Thursday.
Translated by Sok Ry Sum. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.