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Court Seeks City Leader After Garment Protest Shooting

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Last week, police identified the mayor of Bavet town Chhouk Bandit as the prime suspect.

An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Last week, police identified the mayor of Bavet town Chhouk Bandit as the prime suspect.

The governor of Bavet city, in the eastern province of Svay Rieng, has been summoned for questioning at the provincial court for his role in the alleged shooting of three protesting garment workers last month.

Chhouk Bandith is accused of firing into a group of some 1,000 protesters who had gathered to demand higher wages and better working conditions in a so-called special economic zone in the province.

Three women were injured in the Feb. 20 shooting. A top provincial police official said he had not seen the court summons yet and had made no arrests.

At least seven police officers were also injured when protesters began throwing stones at them and factories suffered around $10,000 in damages, Svay Rieng Governor Chheng Am said.

Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the courts should also summon the powerful officials who appear to be supporting Chhouk Bandith and preventing his arrest.

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