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‘Mentally ill’ man detained

A man in Kratie province was detained last week over allegations by the Memot Rubber Plantation Company that he was farming cassava on company property, though investigators with the rights group Adhoc yesterday reported the man suffers from mental illness and was farming his own land, findings the company denied.

Heang Chiv Kun, Adhoc provincial coordinator in Kratie, said yesterday that Rim Duy, 63, of Snuol district’s Khyoem commune, was arrested and sent to court on February 10 after a company security guard accused him of destroying company property, a narrative contradicted by Adhoc’s findings.

“He cleared [the cassava] on his land, which is 200 metres from the company land,” Chiv Kun said, noting that commune authorities had released a letter from the district hospital stating that Duy is mentally ill, adding that he should, at the least, be released on bail.

A company representative, who declined to be named, said yesterday that the company did not believe Duy is mentally ill as they have had repeated contact with him over alleged past instances of clearing company land. The representative refuted Adhoc’s claim that Duy was farming on his own land.

“The place where the man cleared belongs to the company; it is not his land,” he said. However, Hem Kieng, Duy’s wife, maintained that her husband was indeed mentally ill.

“I am worried,” she said yesterday. “We are so poor.” The provincial court declined to provide contact information for the case’s prosecutor.

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