cambodian protesters in custody since january given suspended sentences and freed

by Tim Phillips

On January 3, Cambodian military police opened fire with assault rifles to quell a strike by garment factory workers who make clothes for corporations such as Gap, Nike, and H&M. The police killed at least three people. According to today’s Malay Mail article,

Cambodia’s textile industry provides clothes and footwear for many in the West and employs some 650,000 local people. Workers have staged months of strikes and street protest demanding better safety standards and a doubling of the minimum wage to US$160 a month, or about US$8 a day. So far the government has offered them US$100.

Since January 3, 23 protesters have been in custody for allegedly causing damage and acts of violence. Their trial started on April 25 and ended today. The arrestees were found guilty but received suspended sentences, ranging from one to four and a half years, meaning they could walk free.