Cambodian Authorities Rearrest Prominent Union Leader

Chhim Sithar has led the year-long strike at NagaWorld, a glitzy casino and hotel complex in the capital Phnom Penh.

On November 26, police in Cambodia re-arrested the prominent union leader Chhim Sithar, who has led a year-long strike outside the NagaWorld casino in the capital Phnom Penh. According to a statement from, Licadho, a local human rights group, the unionist was arrested at the Phnom Penh International Airport after returning from Australia, where she attended a 12-day trade union conference.

Chhim Sithar’s fate encapsulates the Cambodian government’s hostility to labor organizing. In January of this year, a month after the NagaWorld strikes began, Chhim Sithar, the leader of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU), was arrested and spent 74 days in pretrial detention on charges of “incitement to commit a felony.” Licadho said that she was re-arrested this week for violating bail conditions set after her release from custody in March.

“Upon her release,” the rights group said in its statement, “neither Sithar nor her lawyers were informed of any judicial supervision or probation conditions, such as travel restrictions.”

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