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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group 78 takes land case to Appeal Court

Group 78 takes land case to Appeal Court

LAWYERS for Phnom Penh's besieged Group 78 community filed an appeal Monday against the Municpal Court's rejection earlier this month of a request for an injunction against their client's eviction by City Hall.

Community members, situated on a tiny strip of land in Phnom Penh's Tonle Bassac neighbourhood, have been struggling to keep their homes in what land rights advocates say is a textbook case of development interests trodding over property rights.

On May 18, Municipal Court ruled against the injunction request, saying that an eviction order by Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema could go forward.

"I appealed ... against Phnom Penh Municipal Court's [decision] to reject an injunction request filed by the residents of Group 78," said lawyer Yin Savath.

In the eviction order dated April 20, Kep Chuktema told residents they were living on land belonging to the city and developer Sour Srun Enterprises.

The community was given 15 days to vacate the land and accept the government's compensation package of either land or cash.

Community representative Lim Sambo said he had little doubt the Court of Appeal would rule any differently from the lower court.

"We have very little hope for our appeal to the court," he told the Post.

"The lower court rejected our complaint already, so the Appeals Court will do the same," he said. 

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