Taxi Drivers Accuse Lot Guards of Violence

Taxi drivers working on National Route 6A will demonstrate against alleged violence from Chroy Changva parking lot guards next week, saying that parking lot owners have allowed guards to beat at least one taxi driver with sticks when he re­fused to park and pay.

On Saturday, a Chroy Changva guard allegedly hit minibus driver Uy Chhoan with a stick and allegedly fractured his skull, drivers said. Uy Chhoan, a taxi driver from Kandal province, de­tailed the alleged attack in a letter to the municipal department of public works.

He was attacked after ap­proaching the guards and asking why they had broken his van, he wrote. “I asked not to pay be­cause I only had five passengers,” he wrote. “In response the guard broke my car.”

Suy Sophan, director of Phan Y Mech Co and owner of the parking lots, witnessed the incident. “It’s not my fault, because my guards didn’t hit the drivers with a stick,” she said.

The drivers took a pipe and hit the guards first, she added.

Uy Chhoan had refused to pay to park several times in the past, so the guards told him to do so, Suy Sophan said. “I won’t pay com­pen­sation or anything,” she said.

Puth Visoth, a taxi driver who works between Phnom Penh and Kompong Thom province, said, “I don’t mind paying to park, but the guards don’t need to beat us with sticks, because we are humans, not animals.”

We can discuss this with each other,” Puth Visoth said.

Tep Siha, who drives the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap prov­ince route, said he would demonstrate by driving with his colleagues along Na­tional Route 6A.

“[I will] suggest to the municipal governor that he stops the guards from hitting drivers,” he said.

The demonstration will be peaceful, he added.

The municipality has forbidden the protest.

“Drivers should write a proper letter to the municipality to solve this case rather than holding a demonstration,” Heng Van­tha, deputy chief of the municipal Cabinet said, citing the need to maintain tight security until a new government is formed.

It is unacceptable that guards beat drivers violently with sticks, said Peng Sokun, municipal deputy director of public works. But he declined to take action.

“I acknowledge that there have been many disputes between taxi drivers and parking lot guards, but it isn’t our responsibility,” he said.


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