PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Troops have been used to forcefully quell a demonstration by striking factory workers in Cambodia, with Buddhist monks and labour leaders among those detained.
A statement by the local human rights group LICADHO said soldiers from a military special command unit carrying metal pipes, knives, AK-47 rifles, slingshots and batons clashed twice Thursday with striking workers at a factory in Phnom Penh’s outlying Pursenchey district. It said 10 people were taken into military custody. It also said monks and workers were beaten.
National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said those arrested had led hundreds of protesting workers in trying to destroy factory property.
Many of Cambodia’s estimated 500,000 garment workers are on strike demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $160 a month, about double the current rate.