Between June and August 2022, there were repeated incidents of police attacks on former and current workers demonstrating outside the NagaWorld Hotel and Casino, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, resulting in injuries.
Former employees had been protesting outside the casino since NagaWorld laid off 1,329 workers in April 2021. The company had used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to restructure and had targeted union members in its layoffs. The strike began because of this in December 2021. As protests continued, the local authorities arrested dozens of union activists, and police officers forcibly removed strikers from the site.
At least 10 protesters were injured on 27 June 2022 when police violently broke up a group of former and current casino workers. In another incident on 22 July, laid-off worker Pov Reaksmey was struck, and fell to the road, while she and other protesters tried to walk up to NagaWorld.
There were more violent clashes, notably on 11 August when strikers from the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld Hotel and Casino, who were trying to access the area in front of the casino, were attacked as they tried to move past metal barricades. Around 80 police and mixed security forces then began violently hitting, kicking and shoving the mostly women union members to stop them from passing the barricades. At least 17 women were injured during the clash. One woman was reportedly hit in the face by a uniformed officer, which left her momentarily unconscious and bleeding from a gash on her nose.
One of the protestors, Yang Sophorn, later received a letter from the Ministry of Labour warning her that she would be punished if she continued her “illegal activities”.