Report: U.N. seeks inquiry into deaths of striking Cambodian factory workers

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The United Nations reportedly wants the Cambodian government to investigate the use of force against striking garment factory workers in the country’s capital city of Phnom Penh on Jan. 3. According to Reuters, police opened fire on workers striking over their pay, wounding 20 and killing five.

In addition, 23 striking workers were detained and their whereabouts remain unaccounted for. The Cambodian police say three people were killed and they are sorry for the incident.

In an open letter dated Jan. 7, international apparel and retail brands including Adidas, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Puma, Levi Strauss and Columbia Sportswear expressed deep concern and an opposition to all forms of violence. The U.N. also released a statement on the matter.

"We are following the situation in Cambodia with serious concern and are deeply alarmed by the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials in responding to demonstrations," U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville said in a statement dated Jan. 7. "We urge the Cambodian authorities to launch a prompt and thorough investigation and to ensure full accountability of members of security forces found to have used disproportionate and excessive force.”

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