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Villagers in KDC row stand vigil

Police failed yesterday to persuade dozens of families camped outside Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court to pack up their mats, blankets and tents and end their protest over two village representatives jailed in a long-running land dispute with politically connected KDC International.

The 80 Lor Peang villagers continued to demand the release of their representatives as well as the re-examination of charges against another eight for allegedly inciting violence against the company.

“A deputy police chief told people to go back home, but they didn’t leave,” Nhork Bunthy, Kampong Chhnang town deputy police chief, said.

Villagers said they would wait and sleep at court until the judge came to discuss a solution.

“We will sleep here for two nights, and then will seek a new method [if it doesn’t work], because we are worried about sickness,” said Snguon Nhoeun, 34, one of the eight accused representatives.

Court and KDC officials could not be reached yesterday.

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