Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison accused of land-grabbing

Prison accused of land-grabbing

Prison accused of land-grabbing

Twenty-seven families from two villages in Pursat province yesterday confronted prison officials accused of annexing 78.5 hectares of farmland to accommodate a planned expansion.

Nov Pheoun, a representative of Phteah Rong village in Phnom Kravanh district, said yesterday that a brief, nonviolent altercation took place with officials at Correctional Centre 4 (CC4) who he said had prevented residents of his village and Chungrok village from cultivating land they had occupied since 1998.

“Authorities have recognised us as legal [owners], but the agriculture prison guards did not allow us to plant and said that the land belonged to them,” he said.

CC4, which opened last year, operates vocational agricultural training and rehabilitation programmes for inmates.

Prison director Hin Sophal referred questions concerning the expansion to district officials, who he said had researched the affected area before granting the land to his facility.

“While conducting research, they found only 60 affected families, and our authorities have prepared 190 hectares for them already, so other villagers who are affected are the local authority’s duty,” he said.

Phnom Kravanh district governor Toch Sambo said he planned to resolve the dispute, but contended that many of the families did not have legitimate legal claims to the land in question.

“They just came to anarchically take over state land, but we’ve educated them to move out already, and left only a few affected families for whom we are currently searching for a solution,” he said.

Nov Pheoun said villagers from Phteah Rong and Chungrok villages first voiced their complaints in early June, when they protested outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all