Cambodia brought backs its 14 citizens from Thailand where they were arrested and handcuffed for crossing the border illegally.
Thuch Dalin, General Counsel of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok, said yesterday, “The Thai authorities released 14 Cambodian workers on May 2 at 3am at the Poipet border crossing in Banteay Meanchey province.”
The Thai authorities repatriated the 14 workers yesterday in cordination with the Cambodian embassy officials in Thailand, Dalin added.
The social media was flooded with photos of the 14 Cambodians, including five women, with their hands chained together after their arrest on April 20 in Natrat, Samut Prakan province.
Dalin also said that he informs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation whenever he receives information about arrested Cambodian workers.
According to a report by Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL), in the first four months of the year there was a spike in number of Cambodian workers intending to cross the border illegally to work in Thailand. The report added that more than 800 workers were arrested from among 1,297 people, including 700 women and 60 children, while they were returning to work in Thailand after the Khmer New Year holidays.
Thai authorities have registered more than 25 cases in this regard.
On April 28, An Sokkhoeun, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, urged Thai authorities to avoid handcuffing them as they are being smuggled into Thailand and should not be treated as criminals. However, he could not be reached for a comment about the latest development yesterday.
Thai authorities say they handcuff the illegal Cambodian workers to ensure they do not escape from detention.
Khun Tharo, Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights Programme Manager, said that Cambodian workers were arrested, handcuffed and remanded in custody by Thai authorities either for not having valid documents or being unable to pay fines at border crossings.
Cambodian Consulate General in Sa Kaeo province has advised the Cambodian workers to have valid documents while they cross the border to work in Thailand in order to avoid arrests and other consequences.
Source: Khmer Times