NagaWorld Protesters Summoned to Court Rises to at Least Six

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NagaWorld strikers protest outside the Phnom Penh casino on August 23, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)
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More NagaWorld protesters are being summoned to court, with charges in the still-murky case now including breaking and entering, intentional damage and even illegal confinement.

Amid a long-running labor dispute, four protesters were summoned to court and earlier this week asked for a delay in their proceedings to find a lawyer.

On Wednesday, senior unionist Nop Tithboravy said at least two other protesters had received summonses for three charges: breaking and entering a dwelling; intentional damage with aggravating circumstances, possibly committed by several perpetrators or occurring in a dwelling; and arrest, detention or unlawful confinement.

The crimes are punishable by one month to one year in jail; two to five years; and between one year to 10 years depending on the length of confinement, respectively.

Tithboravy said the two workers are Sang Sophal, who was laid off last year, and active NagaWorld employee Chhay Bora. Three of the first four protesters summoned were not part of the layoffs.

Sophal was expected to be in court on Tuesday, according to the summons document, but only received the invitation on Wednesday, according to Tithboravy. Bora went to court on Wednesday to ask for a delay, and was supported by around 40 NagaWorld workers on the street opposite the court.

Net Chakriya was the first to receive a summons from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and her document arrived on October 8 after she came home from the market in the morning.

She was surprised to see the casino corporation had sued her over the three charges, she said.

“I don’t think we’ve damaged anything on company property. We’ve just gone to stand in front of the company holding posters asking for a solution. I can’t see any point of damage or abuse against the Naga company,” Chakriya said.

The workers began their protest last December following mass layoffs of more than 1,300 employees that they say targeted union leaders and members.

Chakriya asked for a delay on Monday, but did not see any lawyers for the company there, she said.

“It is ridiculous. We haven’t prepared or know of any reason we might have trespassed on the company,” she said. “I’m worried about why they sued me. I think there will be more summonses coming.”

Ros Bunleng, a manager at NagaWorld, confirmed she still worked at the company but hung up when asked about the court case.

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