Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court ousts evicted villagers

Court ousts evicted villagers

More than 100 families occupying grounds outside Pursat’s provincial courthouse in protest at forced evictions were dispersed by authorities yesterday, villagers and a rights monitor said.

Mit Samoun, a Pursat provincial monitor for rights group Licadho, said local police and military officials were non-violent as they disbanded the encampment of squatting families, who had been sleeping outside the courthouse since Thursday.

“The authorities accused the residents of living illegally in protected state forest area and in Phnom Samkok, a wildlife sanctuary,” Samoun said.

He added that villagers were also protesting against the arrest of Sin Sean, 47, a village leader who was arrested during the community’s eviction on Wednesday.

Families living in Pursat’s Krapoeu Pi commune were instructed by authorities to vacate their homes in early February, according to Samoun.

The warning was followed in short order by the appearance of authorities, who swooped in and began burning more than 70 homes last Wednesday, according to villager Chhai Leng, 47.

“[We] came to sleep … in front of the court because we had nowhere to stay after the authorities demolished and burned our houses,” Leng said, adding that the families had been living on the
land in question since 2000.

“We demand that authorities release [Sean] and stop destroying our homes,” he said.

According to a statement released by the Pursat provincial court, Sean is preliminarily charged with illegally clearing state-protected forest. No court date has been announced.

Pursat town governor Chhay Matinal told the Post yesterday that villagers were moved for the sake of maintaining public order.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

State of Play

NEC reform through CPP eyes

As the deal with the opposition that ended the post-election deadlock earlier this year looks increasingly shaky, a ruling party negotiator gives an insider’s view

Refugee deal under the microscope

Australian Greens Party Senator Sarah Hanson-Young talks to State of Play about her trip to investigate Australia's USD 35 million agreement with Cambodia to resettle refugees in the Kingdom.

BK arrests

Activists convicted in one day trial

Seven given one year sentences for traffic offences.