WASHINGTON DC —
Hundreds of Cambodian-Americans rallied at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, demanding the release of 23 labor activists still being held following deadly protest crackdowns last month.
Protesters also called for a recall election, following July’s polls that opposition leaders say were marred by fraud.
“We will make our demands until there is a release of the 23 workers, no more abuse or arbitrary killings, and recall elections,” said Janet Seng, a protest organizer.
Violent crackdowns by Cambodian security forces last month left at least four people dead and dozens injured, while workers continue to strike for a minimum wage raise of $160 per month.
“Which seems very small,” Seng said. “A pair of Nike shoes costs $160 here in the US. So their demands are not so much that the government cannot meet them.”
The protesters gathered in New York despite a cold snap that dropped temperatures and snow on the city.
“It’s freezing with snow, but without our determination, we aren’t thinking about the cold weather,” said protester Long Roeum. “We are having a good time.”