Cambodia unveils statue of slain union boss
A statue of government critic and labour activist Chea Vichea unveiled in Phnom Penh on May 3, 2013. He was shot dead in broad daylight while reading a newspaper on a street in the capital nine years ago.
Government critic and labour activist Chea Vichea was shot dead in broad daylight while reading a newspaper on a street in the capital nine years ago.
Two men have been jailed over his murder, but rights groups and the victim's family allege they were wrongly convicted to protect the real culprits.
Chea Vichea founded the Free Trade Union, which now boasts around 90,000 members mostly employed in Cambodia's lucrative garment industry, which has been at the heart of labour disputes and media scandals over low wages and conditions.
Campaigners say his murder is a symbol of the kingdom's culture of impunity for powerful interest groups determined to muzzle dissent.
Permission to erect the statue -- in a park near where he was slain -- was for many years denied by the government of strongman prime minister Hun Sen before being granted recently.
It will now stand as a symbol of "gratitude for his physical and mental sacrifice for... workers across the country," according to the late activist's brother Chea Mony.
Chea Mony, who now heads the Free Trade Union, also called for the release of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun -- the two men sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder. The pair allege they were framed by police.
The country earned $4.6 billion from its garment exports last year but a series of strikes has pointed to festering discontent in the industry which employs about 650,000 people and produces clothes for top western brands.
The monthly minimum wage for the hundreds of thousands of workers who make clothes for firms such as Levi Strauss of the US and Sweden's H&M this week rose from $61 to $75 following months of protest.
- Ali spins England to victory over India
- Ali spins England to victory over to India
- England win third Test against India, level series
- Uganda judges debate bid to overturn anti-gay law
- Eurozone unemployment, inflation data paint mixed picture
- Ebola-hit Sierra Leone declares state of emergency
- Sonia Gandhi turned down India PM job after Rahul plea
- Russian experts aim to examine Malaysian jet debris
- Blasts as experts reach MH17 crash site in Ukraine
- Explosions heard close to MH17 crash site in Ukraine
- Najib determined to bring back Malaysian remains from MH17 site
- Explosions heard close to MH17 crash site in Ukraine: AFP
- Dutch, Australian experts reach MH17 crash site: OSCE
- Remains of 80 bodies still at MH17 crash site, reports UK daily
- Both sides must stop fighting at MH17 crash site: Malaysia PM
- Family of MH17 victims fear there will be no remains, no closure
- Karpal’;s driver pleads not guilty to dangerous, reckless driving
- Ukraine parliament agrees to armed Dutch, Australian personnel at MH17 site
- ‘Sorry’; not enough, Muslim preacher must be charged, say Indian groups
- Ex-editor hits out at portal for inaction against reporter at MH17 site
- Najib grateful for dedication, sacrifices of security forces – Bernama
- Sarawakian family aboard MH17 to be buried in Kuching – Bernama
- Australia says MH370 survey ships making progress
- Survey vessels continue the search for MH370
- Impact of Selangor crisis on national politics