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Hun Sen Calls on Thai Junta To Treat Cambodians Well

Cambodian migrant workers get off from a Thai truck upon their arrival from Thailand at Cambodia-Thai international border gate in Poipet, Cambodia, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. The number of Cambodians who have returned home from Thailand this month after a threatened crackdown on foreigners working illegally has topped 160,000, a Cambodian official said Monday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday called on Thailand’s ruling junta to ensure the safety of Cambodian migrant workers and to treat well those that are being deported.

Up to 250,000 Cambodians have fled Thailand or been deported since the junta took control in a May coup, and some workers have reported beatings and bribery as they left.

Speaking at a public event in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen made an open call to Thailand’s ambassador, who was in attendance.

“I urge the release of more Cambodian workers who were arrested for possessing faulty documents and are awaiting trial,” he said.

Rights groups say some Cambodians attempting to leave the country are suffering abuse at the hands of security forces. But Hun Sen said Thursday this problem was being resolved, following reaction from the Cambodian government.

Ny Chakrya, head of legal aid at the rights group Adhoc, said Thursday the situation for Cambodians leaving Thailand is “better up to today.”