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HRP calls for govt help in Chi Kraeng land row

Siem Reap Province
A HUMAN Rights Party lawmaker has called on Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana to intervene in a land dispute in Siem Reap’s Chi Kraeng district that led to an armed clash between villagers and police last March.

On March 22, 2009, some 100 armed police opened fire on 80 residents of Chi Kraeng commune who were caught harvesting crops on land that Siem Reap Governor Sou Phirin had ruled belongs to families in neighbouring Anlong Samnor. Nine villagers are currently behind bars because of their alleged involvement in the incident, but no police have been arrested or charged.

Ou Chanrith wrote his letter on January 17, and it was processed by National Assembly President Heng Samrin on February 22.

On Wednesday, the lawmaker noted that the Justice Ministry had previously called on local officials to investigate alleged police wrongdoing in the altercation, but he said this had not yielded results.

“I issued this letter to urge the Justice Minister to retake action, because I see no measures from local officials to implement their previous orders,” he said.

Siem Reap provincial court prosecutor Ty Soveinthal said Wednesday that the investigation was ongoing.

“If the HRP lawmaker knows the real gunfighter, he can come to be a witness,” he said.

Bunyay Narin, deputy chief of the cabinet at the Justice Ministry, said Wednesday that Ou Chanrith’s letter had not been received.

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