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The Event of Capitol Case 

2016-02-11 - CLEC

On 6 February 2016, bus drivers from Capitol Bus Company decided to picket and protest outside the company headquarters. Tuk-tuk and motodop drivers from an allegedly company-affiliated union, Cambodia for Confederation Development Association (CCDA) decided to disrupt the strike, arguing that they had contracts to transport Capitol senior staff to their homes. CCDA members attended carrying metal pipes, hammers and other metal sticks causing 14 people to suffer from serious blunt force wounds. Police decided to arrest two of these victims.

On 8 February 2016, the two arrested individuals were temporarily detained in custody by investigating judge Ros Piseth, but at the time of this press release, the perpetrators of the broader violence have not yet been arrested. This raises serious questions about the procedures for identifying the perpetrators of violence, and in particular, the process by which the Public Prosecutor makes decisions about who to arrest. This is all the more serious given that social media has shown graphic and clear images of those who were perpetrating the violence.

The Cambodia Daily reported: “Suth Men¬ghy, CCDA’s vice pres¬ident, told reporters on Monday that his members had been prepared for a fight, apparently enraged that months of pro¬tests against Capitol Tours had affected their business”. Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labor Confederation (CLC), Kong Athit, CLC secretary-general, union chief Eang Kimhun, and labor association leader Sok Chhun Oeung were all charged with intentional violence, obstructing public officials and obstructing a public road, according to a statement signed by deputy municipal court prosecutor Srey Makney. It is quite clear that charges have been laid against the wrong people.

Within a functioning democracy, it is uncontroversial and continued the impunity culture that if perpetrators of violence are not arrested, then the victims will not be able to be assured of justice.

The Cambodia Daily continued: “According to Mr. Kimhun, secretary-general of the Cambodia Transportation Workers Federation, the fact that the tuk-tuk drivers who initiated the attack had faced no legal repercussions proved that officials did not conduct a thorough investigation.
Community Legal Education Center formally requests the Minister of the Ministry of Justice, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Minister of the Ministry of Interior, and all levels of government authorities to immediately conduct a thorough investigation in order to find the perpetrators of the attacks and hold them accountable.

For more information Contact:
Mr. SARIN Nhek Executive Director of CLEC Tel: 012 800 561
Mr. SOKHANN Yon Labour Program Manager Tel: 093 345 631