Freed Chinese Workers Head Home, Vietnamese To Remain

Thirteen Chinese nationals who claimed last month to have been detained for months at a Phnom Penh garment factory and forced to work, will return to China today, a rights workers said Thursday.

Thirty-seven Vietnamese workers rescued from the same Taiwanese-owned factory will remain in Cambodia at a safehouse until authorities finish investigations into their grievances, said the representative of Licadho, a human rights group.

Four other Chinese nationals discovered during the Feb 19 police raid on the GT Garment (Cambodia) Co Ltd factory also have opted to remain in working here in the garment industry, according to the Licadho worker, who asked not to be named because of security concerns.

All the laborers taken from the factory last month by police claim they were deceived into coming to Phnom Penh with promises of good work and pay but were cheated. Philip Chang, chairman of the factory, has denied the allegations, explaining the incident as a result of miscommunication.

Vietnamese Ambassador Ngu­yen Duy Hong said Thurs­day that his government is “still discussing [the case] with concerned authorities in Cam­bodia.”

The Chinese workers who are scheduled to leave today paid for  flights with money from families and contributions from Licadho, said Eva Galabru, its’ director.

Last September, dozens of illegal Chinese immigrants were quietly ushered out of the country on planes chartered by the Chinese government.




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