Cambodia: Arrests of strikers could be breach of human rights regulation

Many of the strikers had been ladies and lots of of the arrests had been performed in “a violent manner”, the specialists added. The arrests appeared to contravene the proper to freedom of affiliation, meeting and expression.

“We additionally strongly condemn the style wherein the primary arrests occurred, after darkish, on a day the place a number of different occasions diverted public consideration”, the specialists mentioned.

For them, this might be seen as “an underhanded method to clamp down on elementary human rights and impinge on the free train of the rights to freedom of peaceable meeting and of affiliation.”

The specialists known as on the Authorities to clarify the response by the police, and mentioned they had been following developments intently.


9 individuals, together with seven ladies and two males, have to this point been charged with “incitement to commit a felony” below Articles 494 and 495 of the Cambodian Penal Code. All of them stay in custody, whereas others have been launched.

Based on the specialists, these similar provisions have beforehand been used to prosecute human rights defenders within the nation.

The primary spherical of arrests occurred at round 8pm on 31 December. Continued strikes resulted in a additional 17 arrests, on 3 January.

The three most senior union leaders, together with president Chhim Sithar, had been individually arrested on 4 January, on their method to be a part of the continuing strikes.

Video footage of arrests reveals police utilizing what seems to be extreme power in the course of the arrests.

Causes of strike

Commerce union leaders and activists have been hanging since 18 December in opposition to what they deem because the unfair dismissal of 365 Naga World on line casino and resort workers members.

The dismissals occurred after unsuccessful negotiations with their employer, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Coaching, and Phnom Penh Municipal authorities.

“The sample and method of those arrests, after industrial motion did not be resolved shortly, seems to be an escalation in ways utilized in earlier circumstances which have occurred in Cambodia over current years and resulted within the wrongful imprisonment of human rights defenders,” the specialists mentioned.

The Cambodian Structure contains the precise to strike and the rights to freedom of affiliation, expression, peaceable meeting, press and publication. The Cambodian Labour Regulation additionally ensures the precise to strike.

Obligations set out in worldwide human rights treaties, to which Cambodia is a celebration, shield the identical rights.

Civic house shrinks

Because the nation gears up for native elections this 12 months and nationwide elections in 2023, the specialists mentioned these arrests ship “a chilling message to Cambodian individuals on their house to assemble freely.”

The specialists additionally known as on the Authorities to implement suggestions they’ve accepted in the course of the 2019 Common Periodic Evaluation by the UN Human Rights Council, together with a pledge to create situations the place “civil society, together with human rights defenders, can freely perform their work with out interference or hindrance”.

The UN Particular Rapporteur on the scenario of human rights in Cambodia, Vitit Muntarbhorn, has beforehand spoken out on the shrinking of civic and political house within the nation.

Unbiased specialists, Particular Rapporteurs and members of Working Teams are appointed by the Human Rights Council to observe and report on particular nation conditions or thematic points.

They serve of their particular person capability and should not UN workers, nor are they paid by the UN for his or her work.