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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ...others gain a family

...others gain a family

Police, claiming to be under orders from the Banteay Meanchey governor attempted

to move protestors including women with new born babies from the park in front of

the National Assembly on Tuesday night, Feb 15,

One of the women that police said they would use electric batons to evict was nursing

a new born baby who had been born two months premature at the protest site. The child

was one of five born to the protestors from Banteay Meanchey since they arrived at

the park to protest the theft of their land by corrupt officials.

Another new mother, Mov Von, gave birth on the concrete floor of an open-air pavilion

in the park the morning of Feb 14, the day before police moved in.

When the medical-coordinator from LICADHO arrived an hour later, she found Mov Von

on the floor with her new-born still attached by its umbilical cord. LICADHO took

the mother and baby to the Japanese Hospital.

Staff at the hospital asked Mov Von if she could pay for treatment. However, they

allowed her to stay for two days after the LICADHO representative explained that

she was too poor to pay.

The governor of Banteay Meanchey, Thach Khun, denied he asked police to move the

protesters, and an official told the Post the protesters were really merchants who

were trying to purchase land in their home province.

It is therefore a mystery as to who ordered the protestors removal.

Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara said he did not give orders for the police to move

anyone and said it would be his decision and not that of some other province.

"If they give me an order to move the people away it is up to me whether I do

it ."

Meanwhile the protestors are staying put. One protestor, Lon Nob, who came to Phnom

Penh with his family said the last time they were moved they were robbed and therefore

would not move again.

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