Daun Penh district security guards briefly arrested eight women outside World Bank headquarters yesterday morning during a peaceful demonstration for Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak community.
According to Boeung Kak land activist Sie Naret, the women intended to petition the financial institution to “cut all aid to the government while the solution for [the] Boeung Kak community has not been settled yet”. On April 14, the World Bank approved $100 million in loans to improve rural roads and secondary education.
Following her release, Naret said security guards arrested the women in front of the World Bank for causing disorder as delegates from Laos and Vietnam travelled along Norodom Boulevard to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Kem Vutha, head of the Daun Penh security guards, said his men only arrested two of the activists when they refused to disperse and six more women volunteered to join them in detention.
According to Vutha, the women were met by a World Bank official who suggested they return with their petition when the World Bank’s director was at the office.