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‘Villager chained’ by soldiers

A villager in Oddar Meanchey’s Trapaing Prasat district was allegedly detained on Monday and chained up for a day by a nearby military unit, the rights group Adhoc said.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Srey Naren said villager Phang Phan, of Dekcho Akphivath village, was chained up overnight by soldiers from Unit 261 for allegedly destroying cassava planted by the soldiers on the land he formerly owned.

“The soldier has no right to chain up a villager like that; they should have sent for the authorities to solve the problem,” he said.

Village chief Ung Phal said Phan had cleared 12 hectares of state-owned forest land to farm in 2000, but in 2011, Cambodian troops moved into the area and have occupied all but 1.5 hectares ever since.
Phan’s behaviour had grown increasingly erratic since the loss, he added.

“The arrest might have been caused by his destroying the cassava and the fear of him using his crossbow to shoot people,” Phal said.

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