Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Escapees ready complaint

Escapees ready complaint

Escapees ready complaint

120120_03

A group of 20 women and children who escaped from Prey Speu social affairs centre on Wednesday went to the office of Legal Aid of Cambodia yesterday to prepare a complaint against authorities and development firm Phan Imex.

Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Former Borei Keila residents leave the Prey Speu Correctional Centre in tuk tuks after escaping over the centre’s outer wall on Wednesday in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district.

The group of Borei Keila residents, who were detained during a protest in Phnom Penh on January 11 and held for a week without charge, will take action against the company, the Borei Keila authority and the Phnom Penh municipal authority, group representatives said.

Chum Ngan, 39, said the residents, their husbands and relatives had asked for advice because they did not understand their rights and wanted NGOs and the local and international communities to help them.

“They [Phan Imex and authorities] conspired to destroy our houses and property, and confined us,” she said.

The legal aid office had agreed to help, but villagers were concerned about their immediate safety and livelihoods, because they had no shelter or businesses.

The group was asked to leave the legal aid office after lunch because it could not provide them with accommodation, she said.

Chum Ngan and her family will stay with relatives in Toul Kork district and other villagers will stay with relatives in Daun Penh and Meanchey districts.

Villager Ath Samnang, 27, said she will live under the Borei Keila building until Phan Imex and the Phnom Penh authority give her a flat.

“I don’t go anywhere because I am a real victim,” she said.

In 2003, Phan Imex agreed to construct 10 buildings on two hectares of land to house 1,776 families, in exchange for development rights to a remaining 2.6 hectares. The firm has constructed only eight buildings. Sia Phearum, secretariat director of Housing Rights Task Force, said his office could not accommodate the residents for more than one night.

“However, we will keep watching and provide legal aid to them,” he said.

“They worry that the company and the authorities will come and detain them again.”

Peung Yok Hiep, director of Legal Aid of Cambodia, could not be reached for comment.

Jeff Daigle, Charge d’Affairs from the US Embassy, said yesterday that the escalating Borei Keila issue could have widespread consequences.

“As we have said before, we believe that this issue has the potential to lead to instability in the country, and we think it would be in Cambodia’s interest to create a transparent system to handle these issues in a fair manner,” he said.

Eight Borei Keila residents arrested during clashes with authorities on January 3 remain in Prey Sar prison.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all