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Arrest in Samlot land row

A VILLAGE representative involved in a land dispute pitting residents of Battambang province’s Samlot district against military officials and an unidentified Korean company was arrested last week in connection with the case, villagers said Monday.

Sim Mey was questioned on May 24 and arrested the following day, said Man Ny, who was also questioned but then released. Man Ny added that the questioning concerned their alleged involvement in the torching of a tractor belonging to an official with Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Military Region 5 in 2008.

Man Ny said he suspects that Sim Mey was arrested for his continued advocacy on behalf on 141 families involved in disputes over 705 hectares of land. On April 4, Sim Mey was shot and injured by an unidentified gunman in an incident that villagers suspect was related to the dispute.

Tuy Bun Ly, deputy commander of RCAF Region 5, said Sim Mey had been arrested over a complaint filed in 2008 by a military officer whom he identified as Pen Savoeun. Provincial court prosecutor Sar Yos Thavrak could not be reached for comment Monday.



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