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Alleged intimidation continues

A family in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district locked in a land dispute with a private company, and who previously claimed to have had snakes thrown into their home, alleged yesterday that unknown assailants damaged their house.

Ly Seavminh claimed that at 7am, a gang of about 30 youths who usually guard the area for Khun Sear Import Export Company broke into her family home in Boeung Kak I commune.

“We don’t have money to rebuild it,” she said. “[Inside], plates, cooking pots, glasses . . . were smashed,” she said. “I am afraid they will come back at night . . . We cannot sleep.”

Seavminh’s family is one of three claiming that representatives of Khun Sear have been waging a campaign of intimidation against them since the company in 2013 was awarded rights to the land they claim to have lived on since 1980.

According to a statement released by rights group Licadho, Seavminh’s was one of two homes partially destroyed yesterday.

But Yim Leang, son of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, who yesterday referred to himself as “an assistant to the company”, said the young men were merely “defending themselves” as Seavminh’s family had “beaten them two times”.

In November 2013, Khun Sear launched its own case against the families for disrupting the erection of a fence around the area.

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