Press ReleaseCivil Society Urges Authorities to Arrest the Shooter Behind Last Month's Tragedy in Svay Rieng's Manhattan Special Economic Zone
March 15, 2012 - We, the undersigned groups and individual members of civil society, are calling for justice to be served in accordance with the rule of law, with regard to the brutal shootings of three young Cambodian female workers - Buon Chinda, Keo Nei and Nuth Sakhorn - on Feb. 20, 2012, in Svay Rieng's Bavet district.
Many Cambodian garment workers already live a life of hardship, suffering, poverty and uncertainty. As such, the workers should receive protection and support from the State, not face further victimization through brutal acts of violence.
Cambodian garment and textile exports now total some $4.25 billion per year and account for around 90% of Cambodia's total exports. The young workers of the Cambodian garment industry, including the three women who were shot, are the foundation upon which one of Cambodia's only viable export sectors stand. They support the weight of this developing country on their shoulders. They deserve better. They deserve dignity and justice.
In echoing the statement made by Japanese Ambassador, the Honourable, Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, who stated on March 6, 2012, "...I hope... [the government] will find the suspect and bring him to stand trial in accordance with the law," we urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to ensure that this case becomes an example of rule of law, not another reflection of impunity.
We further echo his statements relevant to the sustainability of the Cambodian garment industry and its investors which provide "safety for investors, both inside and outside the SEZ must be guaranteed, so don't let this happen again." (The Cambodia Daily, Wednesday, March 7, 2012)
Recognizing that the Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has identified the suspect of the shooting as being Bavet town governor, Chhouk Bandith, we strongly urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to make the suspect's arrest an utmost priority. We also urge a proper trial and judgement in accordance with the law.
We also urge all stakeholders, especially relevant international brands, to continue monitoring this process to ensure that justice is done.
We remind the Royal Government of its obligation to ensure that human rights throughout Cambodia are respected. We also remind the Royal Government of its obligation to ensure that every Khmer citizen shall be equal before the law, regardless of rank, title or association.
The three victims, the young workers in the garment industry and the citizens of this country deserve that much.
For more information, please contact:
• 1- Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers' Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), Mr. Ath Thorn, President: 012 998 906
• 2- The Cambodian Independent Teachers' Association (CITA), Mr. Rong Chhun, president, 012 930 706
• 3- Cambodian Alliance Trade Unions (CATU), Ms. Yang Sophorn, president, 012 880 039
• 4- Cambodian Food and Service Workers' Federation (CFSWF), Mr. Sar Mora, president, 016 525 781
• 5- Independent Democratic Association of Informal Economic (IDEA), Mr. Vorn Pao, president, 012 534 796
• 6- Cambodian Independent Civil-servants Association (CICA); Mr. Phoung Sovann, President, 011 592 887
• 7- Cambodian Workers Center for Development (CWCD); Mr. Yi Seiha, Director, 092 622 204
• 8- Cambodian Youth Network (CYN); Mr. Tim Malay, President, 017 990 689
• 9- Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC); Mr. Theng Savoeun, Coordinator, 097 36 73 190
• 10- The Civic Alliance for Social Accountability in Cambodia (CASA), Mr. San Chey, representative 012 445 642
• 11- The Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF), Mr. Sok Narith, deputy general secretary, 012 927 283
• 12- The Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC), Mr. Van Thol, Vice President: 012 752 617
• 13- The American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS); Mr. David John Welsh, Country Director-Cambodia: 077 22 20 20
• 14- The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Ms. Naly Pilorge, Director: 012 803 650, and Mr. Am Sam Ath, senior Supervisor, 012 327 770
• 15- The Khmer Institute for National Development (KIND), Mr. Boeun Chanborn, Head of Program: 012 82 01 21
• 16- The Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Mr. Moeun Tola, Head of Labour Program: 012 921 961
• 17- Strey Khmer Organization (SKO), Ms. Pech Polet, program manager, 012 576 346
• 18- The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Mr. Ou Virak, President: 012 40 40 51
• 19- People's Action for Change (PAC), Ms. Soun Tien, Facilitator: 012 50 28 25
• 20- The Cambodian Women Movement Organization (CWMO), Ms. Meas Morokot, president 089 387 407
• 21- The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), Mr. Pang Ngoun Teang, director, 012 598 066
• 22- SILAKA, Mrs. Thida Khus, Executive Director, 012 838 464
• 23- Workers' Information Center (WIC), Ms. Hoeurng Phork, coordinator, 012 1828 366
• 24- Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Mr. Sia Phearum, Executive Director, 012 852 325
• 25- Volunteer for Sustainable Development (VSD), Ms. Hem Vannareth, 012 322 894
• 26- Women For Prosperity, Mrs. Pok Nanda, Executive Director, 012 420 093
• 27- Dignity International (DI) Mr. Adrian Pereira, Program Coordinator , email: email@example.com
• 28- Youth Resource Development Program, (YRDP), Cheang Sokha, executive Director, 012 360464
• 29- Social Action for Change (SAC), Ms. Chrek Sophea, Activist, 092 293 257
• 30- Cambodian Women's Movement for Social Justice (CWMSJ), Ms. Neang Sovatna, member, 092 663 062 and;
• 31- Legal Service for Women and Children (LSCW), Mrs. Ly Vichuta, Executive Director, 012 222 173
• 32- The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), Mr. Suon Sareth, Executive Secretary, 092 344 357