A village representative was arrested on Saturday and sent for questioning yesterday at Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court over allegations of private property destruction in a long-running land dispute with the sister-in-law of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan and Chhay Chhay Investment, according to a human rights group.
Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said Sean Vy, 51, was arrested on Saturday after he, and 20 other villagers, built “a tent” on 40 hectares of farmland they were “violently” evicted from 15 years ago, without compensation, in O’Chrou district.
“We came to the land on Saturday to make authorities see us,” said Prin Chhoy, 45, Sean Vy’s wife.
“Since the eviction, I have no land to cultivate. I rent land from others to [plant as] rice fields.”
She said villagers had met authorities in February to attempt to find a resolution, but had yet to see “a single cent”.
“It’s a complicated land dispute,” said Korsum Saroeuth, provincial governor.
“The thing to resolve is only to push the private owner to compensate them as they can.”
The questioning will continue today.