Protest Planned for 2nd Day Of Garment Protest Trials

Some 500 supporters of union leader Vorn Pao and 24 others arrested during a string of garment worker protests since November will rally in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday on the second day of their trials, a union official said.

All 25 have been charged with causing or inciting violence or property damage during a trio of garment worker protests for higher wages in November and January.

They had their first, and so far only, hearing on April 25.

Sok Chhun Oeung, vice president of Mr. Pao’s Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, said supporters of the jailed protesters will turn out at today’s hearing despite a government ban on demonstrations. “We are not afraid of a crackdown by the government’s armed forces,” he said.

“We are coming only to support the 23 people and remind court officials to give them justice and free them.” National Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Kheng Tito said security forces will be on the scene.

“Our forces will just ensure public order and prevent the protesters from using any violence,” he said.

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