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Child’s arrest leads villagers to protest cops

Child’s arrest leads villagers to protest cops

Russey Keo district authorities in Phnom Penh on Tuesday were confronted by more than 10 villagers in Tuol Sangke II commune after accusations that officers arrested a 10-year-old boy for riding a motorbike across the disputed land.

One of the protesting villagers, who asked not to be named, claimed cops had arrested a boy for riding a motorbike across the land that stands at the centre of an ownership controversy.

He said after seeing authorities arrest the boy, nearby villagers assembled and demanded he is freed, but this was allegedly denied. Shortly after, villagers returned bearing machetes, sticks and axes.

“The boy was innocent. Why arrest him? How about the land there that is being disputed, why didn’t [they] resolve it in accordance with the law?” he asked.

Russey Keo district police chief Tieng Chansa told The Post on Tuesday that the city’s municipal committee and a court prosecutor led a team to mediate the dispute.

“We went to the scene to prevent any violence but none happened and we are instructing them to suspend their activities and negotiate in accordance with the law,” he said.

Chea Pisey, Russey Keo district governor, declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that he was busy.

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