Vendors, guards brawl

Five hawkers were seriously injured by a group of security guards at Neak Meas Market on Tuesday night following a scuffle over cart spaces and sleeping areas, a police officer said.

Tuol Kork district police officer Sok Kimsreang said that during the fighting, two security guards were also wounded.

“The market security guards told the victims [workers] not to park their carts and sleep in front of prohibited areas of the market,” he said.

“But the workers didn’t move from their place.”

Their refusal led to a violent reaction by security personnel, Kimsreang added.

“The security guards then beat them with sticks and evicted [them] from the place, and the two parties later started fighting with each other,” he said.

Afterward, the guards allegedly refused to take responsibility for wounding the workers and damaging their belongings.

Yesterday morning, Kimsreang said, about 50 people associated with the local union Independent Democracy of Information Economy Association (IDEA) protested at the site and called for the workers to be compensated.

Sam Phearom, the deputy chief of the Phsar Doeum Kor commune police, said that the dispute has since been solved, and the security guards have paid $2,250 to the victims.

“The victims’ party accepted [the settlement and agreed] to not sue the security [guards] in court,” he said.