About 50 land evictees marched unimpeded from the US Embassy to Phnom Penh City Hall yesterday despite recent crackdowns on political petitions and protests tied to opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha and the detention of human rights activists.
Twelve Borei Keila families, who claim they have not been compensated after the Phanimex company evicted them and built only eight of a promised 10 new apartment buildings to house former residents, demanded a meeting with Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong.
Village representative Pho Sophin said she was disappointed he did not meet with them, adding that families were still suffering from the losses of their homes four years ago.
“The City Hall governor does not care about the villagers,” she said. “If he cared about us, he would settle the problem for us … they don’t see us as human.”
The protesters were joined by former Boeung Kak residents, who claim that the housing and the $8,500 they accepted in compensation are inadequate. They are seeking a further $20,000 for each family.
City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada was not aware of the protest but said the municipality was working to resolve their disputes.