A community representative was released on bail by Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court on Tuesday, after he was arrested and charged with disturbing private property.
Sean Vy, 51, was arrested in Poipet’s Nimeth commune on July 4, after he was deemed the ringleader of a group building cottages on disputed land, said Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator at rights group Adhoc.
He added that the arrest was unlawful as authorities did not obtain a warrant.
“We are just simple citizens, and always losers,” Vy said yesterday.
The dispute has dragged on for more than 10 years, after villagers were evicted in 2000 when their land was bought by Chhay Chhay Investment Co Ltd, owned by relatives of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, a CPP lawmaker.
Soum Chankea said that Rin Chanrath, who currently oversees the land for Chhay Chhay, does not have a land title, only a map signed by Poipet officials.
But according to the governor of Banteay Meanchey, Korsum Saroeut, the land was purchased by Chhay Chhay and is now part of Poipet town’s Special Economic Zone.