UCA News
Contribute

Cambodian casino union leader jailed over strike

Chhim Sithar had long campaigned for the return of hundreds of workers laid off from NagaWorld in Phnom Penh
A supporter of Cambodia union leader Chhim Sithar holds up a placard outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh on May 25

A supporter of Cambodia union leader Chhim Sithar holds up a placard outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh on May 25. (Photo: AFP)

Published: May 25, 2023 05:32 AM GMT
Updated: May 25, 2023 05:37 AM GMT

A Cambodian court on Thursday jailed a woman union leader for two years for leading a strike against the country's biggest casino to demand the reinstatement of workers laid off during the pandemic.

Chhim Sithar had long campaigned for the return of hundreds of workers laid off from the NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh.

She was first arrested in January last year at a protest site near the casino and was charged with incitement, a common tactic authorities use against activists.

Chhim Sithar was re-arrested in November for violating bail conditions upon her return from a conference in Australia.

Several dozen former casino workers protested outside the court after her sentencing on Thursday, shouting "injustice" as Chhim Sithar was taken away in a prison van.

Rights groups have said the charges are baseless.

Five other union members from her group were given 18-month court monitoring orders and three more received one-year suspended jail sentences.

Prime Minister Hun Sen -- who has ruled Cambodia for more than 38 years -- has been accused by rights groups of using the courts to stifle dissent as he prepares for the July election.

Nagacorp -- a Hong Kong-listed firm that operates NagaWorld -- has an exclusive casino license to operate in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia has a complex relationship with gambling: while it has casinos, its own citizens are officially barred from playing in them.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia