Unfair trade – Hardouin http://hardouin.info/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 01:56:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 Customer Says Dollar Bank Policy Should Have Ended $4 Million Scam https://hardouin.info/customer-says-dollar-bank-policy-should-have-ended-4-million-scam/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 00:14:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/customer-says-dollar-bank-policy-should-have-ended-4-million-scam/
By Matthew Santoni (January 21, 2022, 7:14 PM EST) – A woman who was tricked into converting $4.3 million into cryptocurrency and transferring it to scammers has told a Pennsylvania state court that Dollar Bank had a policy that should have reported and stopped wire transfers, claiming this made the bank liable for negligence.

Seeking to dismiss Dollar Bank’s preliminary objections to her trial, Mary Clayton’s attorney said the bank’s alleged policy of screening wire transfers and stopping them if they were suspicious created a positive obligation on the bank to protect it, regardless of federal regulation, citing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Dittman v. University of …

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193 unruly taxi drivers booked in a week – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper https://hardouin.info/193-unruly-taxi-drivers-booked-in-a-week-the-himalayan-times-nepals-no-1-english-daily-newspaper/ Thu, 20 Jan 2022 05:23:30 +0000 https://hardouin.info/193-unruly-taxi-drivers-booked-in-a-week-the-himalayan-times-nepals-no-1-english-daily-newspaper/

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 19

Traffic police took action against 193 taxi drivers over a week-long period in the Kathmandu Valley for stealing from passengers or breaking rules.

According to figures from the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, taxi drivers booked by on-duty cops have been caught in the act of negotiating over the fare, refusing to provide service based on the fare meter and operating taxis with a tampered meter.

MTPD said traffic cops continued their actions against unscrupulous taxi drivers because they showed no signs of following the rules. Traffic personnel – in uniform and in civilian clothes – have been deployed to busy areas including hospitals and bus parks to catch rule breakers.

They also monitor taxis day and night when taxi drivers attempt to scam passengers by taking advantage of emergencies and unavailability of public vehicles.

According to MTPD, an average of 25 taxi drivers are booked daily for frightened commuters. MTPD called on passengers to call the traffic control room (103) or text 9851295100 or file a complaint through MTPD’s Facebook page to take action against fraudulent taxi drivers.

Despite police crackdowns, taxi drivers continue to engage in unfair business practices and fleece passengers. The crackdown was aimed at deterring taxi drivers from overcharging and misleading commuters.

Taxi drivers who refuse to serve passengers by activating the meter are referred to the Transport Management Bureau for action and fined Rs 2,000.

A version of this article appears in the January 20, 2022 printing of The Himalayan Times.

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Service charge in restaurants Voluntary Not mandatory; Forced taxation is an unfair business practice: Consumer Commission https://hardouin.info/service-charge-in-restaurants-voluntary-not-mandatory-forced-taxation-is-an-unfair-business-practice-consumer-commission/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 09:01:38 +0000 https://hardouin.info/service-charge-in-restaurants-voluntary-not-mandatory-forced-taxation-is-an-unfair-business-practice-consumer-commission/

the Kolkata District Consumer Dispute Redress Forum recently ruled that restaurants cannot forcibly impose a service charge on a customer and therefore ordered the affected restaurant to return the service charge it collected from a customer along with a compensation amount.

A Bench including the President Swapan Kumar Mahanty and member Ashok Kumar Ganguly ruled that the imposition of a service charge on a restaurant bill is completely voluntary and not compulsory, in accordance with the guidelines on fair business practices issued by the central government.

“POs should have been aware of the Fair Trade Practices Guidelines on Charging of Service Charges to Consumers by Hotels/Restaurants issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, stipulating among other things that service charges on bills of hotel and restaurant are completely voluntary and not obligatory”, the order read.

The Commission therefore found that the restaurant had committed an unfair business practice towards the complainant and that the imposition of service charges was illegal, dishonest and contrary to law.

Fund

In this case, the complainant Arkadeep Sarkar and his friends had gone to dinner at Yauatcha in Kolkata in 2018. He was forced to pay the service charge stipulated by the restaurant authorities as he was told that such imposition of service charge was compulsory in their restaurant.

Therefore, the plaintiff paid the service charge in order to avoid a confrontation, but he then served the restaurant with a legal notice citing the legal provisions in force and therefore demanded an apology and Rs 25,000 as compensation.

Having received no response, the instant consumer case had been filed by the plaintiff for “illegally pocketing service fees”.

Comments

The bench noted that although a notice was served, no written response was filed by the restaurant.

Responding to the objection raised, the Commission observed,

“Therefore, we are of the opinion that the conduct of OP-1 is unlawful, dishonest and contrary to principles of law as set forth in the Consumer Protection Act and OP-1 willfully omitted and/ or neglected to improve the complainant’s grievance.”

She further found that the restaurant had committed an unfair trade practice and that the evidence presented by the complainant had not been challenged.

It should be noted that in April 2017, the Indian government had issued guidelines on fair trading practices which, among other things, stipulated that the payment of service charges was voluntary and entirely dependent on the discretion of consumers.

As a result, the restaurant was asked to fully refund the service charge and pay Rs 13,000 as compensation and court costs to the plaintiff within 30 days.

Case Title: Arkadeep Sarkar v. Yauatcha and Ors

Click here to read/download the order

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What Biden’s competitive crusade teaches us about globalization https://hardouin.info/what-bidens-competitive-crusade-teaches-us-about-globalization/ Sun, 16 Jan 2022 13:21:44 +0000 https://hardouin.info/what-bidens-competitive-crusade-teaches-us-about-globalization/

Joe Biden has, pretty much since the start of his administration, taken a tougher stance on competition policy than any US president in memory. He has set up antitrust attorneys at the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department and the White House. He issued an executive order tackling corporate concentration last July, containing 72 different provisions designed to limit the influence of giant corporations.

Much of Biden’s fight has been to elevate the position of working people in the US economy and create a fairer level playing field for small and medium-sized innovators. But the administration has also begun to argue for the link between inflation, currently at its highest level in 40 years, and corporate power.

In July 2021, the White House asked the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate price increases by major shipping companies. In December, he asked the US Department of Agriculture to investigate whether big meat packers were driving up food prices, create a web portal for producers to report unfair trade practices, and invest $1 billion. US bailout dollars to help small independent producers.

More recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell about the role corporations play in inflation. “Market concentration has allowed giant corporations to hide behind claims of increased costs to fatten their profit margins,” she said at her second nominating hearing last week. Biden himself lashed out at the meatpacking industry, saying, “These companies can use their position as middlemen to overburden grocery stores and, ultimately, families.”

This is an easy case to make. Meatpacking in particular, but big farming in general, has become highly concentrated in recent decades, spurred on by Wall Street and the USDA’s own mission to keep food prices low (a holdover Depression-era politics). Covid has shed light on how an industry that claims to be driven by efficiency has created two separate supply chains, one for groceries and another for restaurants – part of the reason people were lining up at restaurants. stores and food prices rose even as farmers had to throw away goods.

Supply chain disruptions, not just in food but across many industries, are contributing to inflation. But the direct causality between corporate concentration and inflation is more difficult to prove. There is good research from academics including Steven Salop and Fiona Scott Morton that shows how consolidation can lead to disruptions in times of stress, causing shortages and price spikes. This is exactly what we have seen over the past two years. But there are many other counter-trends, such as the deflationary impact of Big Tech platforms such as Amazon (although you could argue, as I did, that monopoly power and falling prices can coexist).

I wonder if, when pointing out the relationship between today’s price pressures and the influence of big business, the Biden administration is really looking at something more complicated than inflation dynamics – at know how the last half-century of globalization is disrupted.

As TS Lombard’s chief U.S. economist Steven Blitz wrote last week: argument dismisses the underlying problem that itchs the Fed. tighten – revive middle-income wage growth by keeping the prices of goods high and, therefore, headline inflation as well.

As Blitz rightly points out, this group has suffered over the past decades as a strong dollar coupled with technology investments have made “possible and profitable offshore production of goods and services and reduced labor for national production”. This in turn has resulted in government policies that support more domestic labour, greater union power and decoupling. More regionalization, localization and even vertical integration of supply chains in some companies is happening.

“We had an anti-worker policy in the name of low inflation,” says Blitz. The problem is that changing that approach — exactly what Biden, who has a bust of workers’ rights activist Caesar Chavez in his office — wants — may prove somewhat inflationary in the short to medium term. Stronger wage growth, which many economists and business leaders expect in 2022, could create more demand, driving up prices.

Some of this inflation will subside as the Covid supply chain dislocations come to an end. But for all sorts of reasons, from the US-China decoupling to the shift to a low-carbon economy to the rise of decentralized technologies like 3D printing, we’re not going back to the 1990s, when cheap goods were the compensation for zero inflation. for the rising cost of housing, as well as education and health care.

No one on either side of the political spectrum wants to declare war on wage increases. So we’re likely to focus more on prices and what companies are doing to inflate them.

Corporate concentration and inflation can be correlated, especially when demand greatly exceeds supply. It is no coincidence that phenomenal profits are being reported in some of the industries most vulnerable to choke points, including shipping and semiconductors.

But there is an even bigger change happening here: the end of neoliberal globalization. Its effects on businesses, workers and inflation are just beginning to be felt.

rana.foroohar@ft.com

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New lawsuits target cryptocurrency companies and their celebrity endorsers | Bilzin Sumberg https://hardouin.info/new-lawsuits-target-cryptocurrency-companies-and-their-celebrity-endorsers-bilzin-sumberg/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 01:17:04 +0000 https://hardouin.info/new-lawsuits-target-cryptocurrency-companies-and-their-celebrity-endorsers-bilzin-sumberg/

We have highlighted in a recent message regulators’ clear intentions to bring order to the cryptocurrency industry this year. However, the past three weeks have demonstrated that private litigants are not waiting for regulators to crack down on suspected bad actors in the crypto market. Two new high-profile lawsuits target what plaintiffs call fraudulent activity in this booming industry.

First, alleging that a publicly traded cryptocurrency company’s “platform is a house of cards, built on false promises and factually impossible representations that were specifically designed to take advantage of the cryptocurrency, to the direct detriment of any ordinary investor,” lawyers filed a putative class action lawsuit on Christmas Eve against Voyager Digital Ltd. and its subsidiary, Voyager Digital LLC.

The closing statement claims that the Voyager companies made false statements, including allegedly misleading statements that their cryptocurrency platform is “100% commission-free” and that customers will receive the best price possible on their crypto trades. As a result, according to the complaint, the defendants reaped billions of dollars in new income from people with little or no investment experience.

The complaint also claims that Voyager failed to disclose that it intentionally set the price on its platform high enough to collect “exorbitant hidden commissions” on each cryptocurrency transaction, and that the price of the transaction was , in fact, more expensive than transactions on other platforms. .

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is a major Voyager shareholder. The complaint alleges that he made comments during a press conference in which he specifically targeted unsophisticated investors “with false and misleading promises to reap large profits in the cryptocurrency market. “.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys suing the Voyager defendants intend to represent both a national class and a separate Florida class. The putative national class will claim that Voyager violated New Jersey’s consumer fraud law and is also liable for unjust enrichment. The Florida class, which will allege violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, is said to be made up of people who used the trading platform to place cryptocurrency investment orders. The trial is ongoing in the Southern District of Florida.

Meanwhile, in a separate class action lawsuit filed earlier this month in the Central District of California, Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather face allegations they misled investors while promoting a little-known cryptocurrency called EthereumMax to their millions of social media followers. This class action accuses EthereumMax and its celebrity promoters of artificially inflating the token’s price by making “false or misleading statements” in social media posts.

A Kardashian Instagram post last year promoted the cryptocurrency EthereumMax, which reportedly spurred a substantial amount of investment activity by unwary investors. “Do you like crypto??” Kardashian wrote. “This is not financial advice but a sharing of what my friends just told me about the Ethereum Max token!” Kardashian went on to praise this new currency.
Mayweather endorsed the token during his boxing match with YouTube star Logan Paul. EthereumMax was actually accepted as payment for tickets to the event, a move that the lawsuit says led to a significant increase in trading volumes. Mayweather also allegedly touted EthereumMax at a major bitcoin conference in Miami, and did so without revealing that he was being compensated for his statements about the token.

The lawsuit claims that the named plaintiff, a New York resident, and other investors who purchased EthereumMax tokens between May 14, 2021 and June 17, 2021 suffered losses due to celebrity conduct. EthereumMax has lost around 97% of its value since early June, leading to claims that it is a “scam” and/or a “pump and dump” scheme.

EthereumMax “has no connection” to Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit says the company’s name may be an effort to mislead investors into falsely believing the token is part of the Ethereum network.

Whatever the merits of these and other recent lawsuits, there is little doubt that crypto companies – and their promoters – need not simply be attuned to new regulatory decrees and scheduled examination. They should also be wary of lawsuits alleging misrepresentation of value and overstatements of likely investment returns. In this regard, the “Wild West” cryptocurrency is only getting wilder.

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Gunsmith ‘Rust’ files legal action against ammunition supplier | Local news https://hardouin.info/gunsmith-rust-files-legal-action-against-ammunition-supplier-local-news/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 00:54:13 +0000 https://hardouin.info/gunsmith-rust-files-legal-action-against-ammunition-supplier-local-news/

A new lawsuit filed on behalf of Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer of the Rust film production, accuses Albuquerque dummy ammunition supplier PDQ Arm & Prop and owner Seth Kenney of creating the circumstances that led to the shooting death of famed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New Mexico’s 2nd District Judicial Court in Bernalillo County, accuses Kenney and his company of violating state unfair trading practices law, creating unsafe conditions, using false and misleading product labels and breach of contract.

She seeks compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees, as well as other remedies.

In the lawsuit, Gutierrez accuses Kenney of providing ammunition represented as dummy bullets that actually included live ammunition and of violating a “verbal contract” that she said she had with him for her work on a previous shoot. for a production entitled The Old Way – for which the lawsuit claims Gutierrez still owes more than $ 10,000.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Jason Bowles, follows statements by the attorney on national television defending Gutierrez, who has come under close scrutiny for treating the Hollywood actor and Rust . producer Alec Baldwin’s propeller revolver, who fired the fatal shot.

Bowles proposed a theory that the set was “sabotaged” in his first formal interview on NBC. Today show in the weeks following the shooting.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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At the WTO, China is a “developing” country: why many countries are raising concerns https://hardouin.info/at-the-wto-china-is-a-developing-country-why-many-countries-are-raising-concerns/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 01:52:52 +0000 https://hardouin.info/at-the-wto-china-is-a-developing-country-why-many-countries-are-raising-concerns/ China’s status as a “developing country” at the World Trade Organization (WTO) has become a controversial issue, with a number of countries worrying that the upper-middle-income nation is pulling back. advantages reserved for developing countries under WTO standards. In addition, concerns have been expressed regarding “Least Developed Country” (LDC) status, with Bangladesh potentially losing this label after overtaking India in terms of GDP per capita.

What are the advantages of the “developing country” tag?

Some WTO agreements grant developing countries special rights through “special and differential treatment” (S&D) provisions, which may give developing countries longer periods to implement the agreements and even commitments to increase trade opportunities for these countries.

WTO covenants often aim to reduce government support to certain industries over time and set more lenient targets for developing countries and allow them more time to meet those targets compared to developed countries.

The classification also allows other countries to offer preferential treatment.

How is a “developing country” decided and why are some against China being classified as one?

The WTO has not defined “developed” and “developing” countries and member countries are therefore free to announce whether they are “developed” or “developing”.

However, given the increase in China’s per capita income to become an upper middle-income country according to the World Bank and the country’s alleged use of unfair trade practices such as preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises, data restrictions and inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights, a number of countries have called on China to either refrain from seeking benefits available to developing countries or completely abandon its classification as than developing countries.

“One way for China to show leadership would be to refrain from claiming benefits that would correspond to a developing country in the ongoing negotiations,” the European Union said in a statement on the latest policy review. China’s trade conducted in October 2021. The United States Trade Representative also issued a similar statement.

Australia had also recommended that China waive “its access to special and differential treatment”. China’s per capita income was $ 10,435 in 2020 according to the World Bank, while that of India was $ 1,928.

How did China react? What would be the impact of the loss of this status for China?

China has always claimed that it is “the world’s largest developing economy,” but recently indicated that it might be willing to forgo many of the benefits of being a developing country.

Li Chenggang, Chinese ambassador to the WTO, has reportedly said the country could waive all exemptions available to developing countries in negotiations to reduce fisheries subsidies to tackle overfishing.

Biswajit Dhar, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said that a change in China’s status to a “developed country” would have an impact on negotiations for future agreements. “Indeed, China has (like developed countries) reduced its tariffs on most products to a fairly significant extent.”

What are the advantages of the PMA classification?

The WTO recognizes LDCs based on a UN classification based on a criterion revised every three years. LDCs are often exempt from certain provisions of WTO covenants. Bangladesh, currently classified as an LDC, enjoys tariff-free and quota-free access for almost all exports to the EU. However, it is expected to graduate from LDC status in 2026, as its GDP per capita has risen sharply, surpassing that of India in FY21.

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Covid Price Wars Are Here, But Check If It’s Really Cheap | Latest Delhi News https://hardouin.info/covid-price-wars-are-here-but-check-if-its-really-cheap-latest-delhi-news/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 12:31:21 +0000 https://hardouin.info/covid-price-wars-are-here-but-check-if-its-really-cheap-latest-delhi-news/ The sharp rise in Covid-19 cases is once again forcing consumers to stay at home and even purchase basic necessities like fruits and vegetables in the safety of their homes

The sharp rise in Covid-19 cases is once again forcing consumers to stay at home and even purchase everyday essentials like fruits and vegetables from the safety of their homes. This time, however, the physical stores are well prepared to face competition from the online stores and offer to deliver these products to your doorstep at competitive prices. And they use whatsapp and text messaging to promote their business. This certainly gives consumers more choice, but on the other hand, the resulting competition also fosters unfair and deceptive practices that are contrary to the interests of consumers.

Competition is more evident on the price front, each of them wanting to make consumers feel like their price is the lowest, without actually reducing the price, but making hyperbolic claims such as “Steep Price Drop”, “Lowest Price” and “Important discounts”. And almost all of them use exaggerated “benchmarks” to achieve their goal. Some, for example, display an imaginary “Maximum Retail Price” (MRP) of vegetables to show how much lower their prices are. For example, the price of the carrot at ??25 the kilogram was compared to an MRP of ??58 to show that there was a saving of 57 percent or ??33 per kilo! Now where did this MRP of ??58 come from? The maximum retail price is the manufacturer’s suggested price for prepackaged products, as required by the rules of legal metrology (packaged products). So who set the MRP for fresh and unpackaged vegetables? Obviously, the MRP is the premium price concocted by the retailer to give consumers the impression that they are getting a discount!

Even more shocking was the retailer who called for a “price cut” on tomatoes. Its benchmark price, to indicate the massive price reduction, was ??104. Tomato prices increased sharply at the end of September 2021 due to unusual rains and the resulting shortage. But they subsequently came down with new arrivals on the market and according to the Union’s Consumer Affairs Ministry on December 14 their prices had fallen to around ??55 and to ??47.52 by Dec. 21. So on a day when tomatoes cost around ??38 to ??45 per kilo, the retailer claimed to have reduced the price of ??104 to ??45!

“Strike price” is another method many of them use to display price drops. An imaginary inflated price is crossed out or crossed out to indicate that it is the actual price and to show how much the retailer has reduced the price! For example, the price of the mushroom at ??72 for 180 g has been written off and the sale price has been indicated as ??36, giving the impression that the seller was offering mushrooms at a price well below the market price! These are all unfair business practices and the consumer protection regulator, the Central Consumer Protection Authority established under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, will have to crack down on these deceptive prices and protect consumers.

Another roundabout method adopted by some retailers is to quote prices for non-standard weights or odd weights usually not used for the purchase of vegetables and fruit. For example, the price of the tomato is announced at 900 g, that of the brinjal at 450 g, the currant at 225 g and the mushrooms at 180 g! Specifying prices for such varying weights not only confuses consumers, but also makes it almost impossible to compare prices with other outlets. The solution therefore consists in making the unit price compulsory for vegetables and fruits sold online as well as for any advertising or communication relating to their sale, made through electronic media. This can be done through an amendment to e-commerce rules and would go a long way in protecting consumers from unethical sales practices, especially in these times of Covid.

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76% disagree with Pelosi, think members have an ‘unfair advantage’ in stock trading: poll https://hardouin.info/76-disagree-with-pelosi-think-members-have-an-unfair-advantage-in-stock-trading-poll/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 19:06:32 +0000 https://hardouin.info/76-disagree-with-pelosi-think-members-have-an-unfair-advantage-in-stock-trading-poll/
  • A poll by a conservative group found that the vast majority of Americans oppose congressional stock trading.
  • 76% of Americans believe members of Congress have an “unfair advantage” when it comes to stocks.
  • Pelosi recently defended this practice, claiming that “we are a market economy”.

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe members of Congress should not be allowed to trade stocks during their tenure, according to a new poll first released by The Hill.

According to the poll, conducted by the conservative group Convention of States Action, 76% of voters believe lawmakers and their spouses should not be allowed to trade stocks while in Congress, and that they have an “unfair advantage. “on the stock market. .

Only 5% of voters approved the practice, while 19% gave no opinion.

The poll also found that congressional stock trading disapproval is overwhelmingly bipartisan; 70% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans and nearly 80% of Independents said members of Congress should not be able to trade stocks.

“In an age of hyper-partisanship, voters from all parties agree that members of Congress should not enrich themselves by using ‘inside information’ while serving the people,” said group chairman Mark Meckler, in a statement. “This problem has received a lot of attention, and this data confirms that the American people want this practice to end once and for all.”

The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, included 1,076 respondents and was conducted from December 17-21 and had a margin of error of around 3%.

Other polls have also revealed high levels of disapproval for congressional stock trading. The Campaign Legal Center commissioned a poll in November, finding that 67% of those polled supported banning members of Congress from owning shares in specific companies. And a March 2021 Data for Progress poll found that 67% of voters were at least somewhat in favor of banning members of Congress and their senior officials in Congress from buying and selling individual stocks.

The results of those polls put voters at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who recently rejected a ban on stock trading for members of Congress when asked by Insider about the idea.

“We are a market economy. They should be able to participate in it,” Pelosi said.

Insider recently released the Conflicted Congress series, a five-month investigation that found 52 members of Congress and 182 senior Congressional officials in violation of a federal insider trading prevention law called the STOCK Act that requires disclosure in timely sales and purchases of shares. Insider has also produced a proprietary personal finance database for each lawmaker.

And other members of Congress – including the late progressive representative of the late Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – pushed Pelosi back.

“There is no reason why members of Congress should own and trade individual stocks when we are writing major policy and have access to sensitive information,” she said.


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]]> Cambodia. Arrests of strikers could violate human rights law | https://hardouin.info/cambodia-arrests-of-strikers-could-violate-human-rights-law/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 17:49:03 +0000 https://hardouin.info/cambodia-arrests-of-strikers-could-violate-human-rights-law/

Most of the strikers were women and many of the arrests were carried out “in a violent manner,” the experts added. The arrests appeared to infringe the right to freedom of association, assembly and expression.

“We also strongly condemn the manner in which the first arrests took place, after dark, on a day when several other events distracted the public’s attention,” the experts said.

For them, this could be seen as “a devious way to suppress basic human rights and to obstruct the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association”.

Experts have asked the government to explain the police response and said they are closely monitoring developments.

Arrests

Nine people, including seven women and two men, have so far been charged with “incitement to commit a crime” under articles 494 and 495 of the Cambodian Penal Code. They all remain in detention, while others have been released.

According to experts, these same provisions have already been used to prosecute human rights defenders in the country.

The first wave of arrests took place around 8 p.m. on December 31. The continuation of the strikes led to 17 more arrests on January 3.

The three most senior union leaders, including President Chhim Sithar, were separately arrested on January 4 as they were on their way to join the ongoing strikes.

Video footage of the arrests shows police using what appears to be excessive force during the arrests.

Causes of strike

Union leaders and activists have been on strike since December 18 against what they see as the unfair dismissal of 365 Naga World casino staff.

The layoffs came after unsuccessful negotiations with their employer, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, and municipal authorities in Phnom Penh.

“The pattern and modalities of these arrests, after the industrial action was not resolved quickly, appear to be an escalation of tactics used in previous cases that have occurred in Cambodia in recent years that have resulted in the unjustified imprisonment of human rights defenders, ”he added. experts said.

The Cambodian Constitution includes the right to strike and the rights to freedom of association, expression, peaceful assembly, press and publication. Cambodian labor law also guarantees the right to strike.

The obligations set out in international human rights treaties, to which Cambodia is a party, protect the same rights.

Civic space is shrinking

As the country prepares for this year’s local elections and national elections in 2023, experts said these arrests send “a frightening message to the Cambodian people about their space to assemble freely”.

Experts also called on the government to implement the recommendations they accepted during the 2019 Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council, including a commitment to create conditions under which ” civil society, including human rights defenders, can freely carry out their work without interference. or hinders ”.

The UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, Vitit Muntarbhorn, has already spoken out on the shrinking civic and political space in the country.

Independent experts, special rapporteurs and members of working groups are appointed by the Human Rights Council to monitor and report on country-specific situations or thematic issues.

They serve in an individual capacity and are not UN staff, nor are they paid by the UN for their work.

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