Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak protester trio detained, released

Boeung Kak protester trio detained, released

Boeung Kak protester trio detained, released

In yet another case of district security guards assuming the role of police officers, three evictees of the capital’s Boeung Kak lake area were detained in the capital yesterday morning and taken to a police station.

Daun Penh district security guards seized Em Srey Touch, 41, Sia Nareth, 56, and Sath Pha, 40, as they gathered with a group of about 10 former Boeung Kak villagers demanding more compensation outside Phnom Penh’s City Hall.

“The guards arrested me while I was getting off a tuk-tuk in order to try to meet with [Phnom Penh governor] Pa Socheatvong,” Srey Touch said.

The three were taken to Phnom Penh municipal police headquarters, questioned and released later without charge.

After the three were detained, about 50 protesters gathered outside the police station demanding their release, which came after each of them agreed to ink all 10 fingers and thumbs on a document containing details of their interviews.

The increase in security guards working for the Phnom Penh municipality or the districts over which it presides has been noticeable this year as men in non-descript clothing, often wearing motorcycle helmets, have forcibly detained or clashed with protesters.

In late January, City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said many of those guards had received no government security training and were detaining people as civilian “public order” officers.

Dimanche said yesterday that the three protesters had been targeted as a way of preventing traffic delays along Monivong Boulevard, where City Hall is situated.

“The arrest is just advice to them since they tried to block the road,” he said. “This can lead to traffic congestion and social disorder.”

The protesters are part of a group of villagers who accepted compensation some years ago to leave their homes at Boeung Kak after the ruling Cambodian People’s Party awarded the area to a company owned by its senator Lao Meng Khin.

Those detained yesterday said their families had accepted $8,500 in compensation after Meng Khin’s company, Shukaku, had flooded their homes with sand and put pressure on them to vacate.

That compensation, however, has not been enough for them to establish new homes of an equivalent standard and many have since fallen into debt, they say.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior