In Cambodia, union arrests spotlight pressures on civil society

Workers at NagaWorld casino complex in Phnom Penh have pledged to continue their strike despite growing risk of arrest.

Before plainclothes police forced Chhim Sithar into an unmarked sedan within sight of the casino complex where she had worked last week, the Cambodian union leader had plenty of time to consider alternative courses of action.

The president of the labour union at NagaWorld had been sought by police for her role in leading a weeks-long strike and demonstration outside the pair of sprawling casino-hotel facilities in downtown Phnom Penh.

Sithar stayed away from the demonstrations, organising the unionists as she shuttled between safe houses to avoid detection from security officials. But as she prepared to rejoin the strikers last week, she also planned for her arrest.

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