Union Worker Beaten during ASEAN Summit in Cambodia's Capital

Published on July 11, 2012

Rong Panha of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) was beaten in front of Wat Botum after a group of 20 CATU workers had marched from Phnom Penh's Freedom Park to a public park nearby the Prime Minister's home to present a petition to his cabinet. The workers are employed by Tai Yang Enterprises, which supplies international clothing giants Levi Strauss, Gap and Old Navy, among others.

The beating is yet another incident in a string of events demonstrating Cambodian authorities' increasing willingness to use violence against peaceful demonstrators. It is also an embarrassing black eye for the Kingdom, coming as Phnom Penh hosts a major ASEAN summit attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other high-level world leaders. The summit focuses on diplomatic and business issues