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Protesters, guards clash in a bid to reclaim farmland

Security guards hold hands to block Koh Kong community members protesting outside the Land Management Ministry in Phnom Penh.

About 100 protesters clashed with Chamkarmon district security forces after blocking the street in front of the Land Management Ministry yesterday in an attempt to get the attention of its top official. The protesters, from four villages in Koh Kong province’s Dang Paeng and Chikor Krom communes, have been locked in a long-running land dispute with the owners of Koh Kong Sugar Industry Company. Many of them have been living in Phnom Penh’s Samaki Rainsy pagoda for months as they petition the government for help reclaiming about 60 hectares of farmland. A scuffle ensued after security guards began to push protesters – some of them crying, nearly all of them women – off of the road yesterday morning.

Hun Sen orders government to help 7 Boeung Kak families

Buildings are demolished by excavators during forced evictions in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak community in 2010. Touch Yin Vannith

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday directed Phnom Penh Governor Khoung Sreng to quickly resolve land dispute claims by seven families residing in the Boeung Kak area, an order that flies counter to City Hall’s announcement in April that it had officially closed the resolution process for the decade-long dispute. The statement was made at an annual gathering on environmental issues, with the premier responding to a question from Boeung Kak resident Hong Sok Kheng, who requested he find a solution for the seven families who have yet to be compensated for their plots of land. “How many are left at Boeung Kak? How much land is left in Boeung Kak? If there is any left, just end it soon,” Hun Sen said in response.

Daily journos in Ratanakkiri court over election reporting

Former opposition Pate commune chief Rmam Yout (right) poses for a photograph with the current CPP commune chief Chhay Thy

Two Cambodia Daily reporters were questioned yesterday by the Ratanakkiri Provincial Court over a complaint filed by three locals in the province’s Pate commune during a reporting trip for the recently-concluded commune elections. The complaint was filed in early June after Daily reporters Zsombor Peter and Aun Pheap visited the commune and asked residents why they had voted for the Sam Rainsy Party, which had won the chief’s position for the past two mandates. The seemingly innocuous questions prompted former SRP Commune Chief Rmam Yuot and two others to file a complaint accusing the pair of “incitement” and asking questions about politics while interviewing residents ...

MP major accused of beating villagers

Two victims recover in hospital after allegedly being brutally beaten by Military Police officials on Saturday in Kampong Speu province.

A major in the Military Police is being investigated by his unit after he allegedly beat two brothers in Kampong Speu province, though local police yesterday claimed the investigation was tainted by favouritism. In Reaksmey, 44, remains employed and at large after he rallied his son and son-in-law to allegedly beat two villagers with guns and sticks in Phnom Sruoch district on Saturday, according to Treng Trayoeng Commune Police Chief Prak Bunlay. Bunlay lambasted the Military Police for its lacklustre investigation into the bashing of Hay Kimsun, 32, and Hay Sopheak, 17, who was left unconscious. Their mother and sister were also punched in the brawl, Bunlay said.

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