Twenty-nine community representatives from Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district travelled in person to the National Assembly building in Phnom Penh yesterday to file a complaint against provincial governor Kang Heang and other officials, accusing them of “robbing a total of 950 hectares of farm land”.
According to the complaint, which was submitted on behalf of 250 families from Taing Samrong commune to the government’s Human Rights Commission for Complaint and Observation, the land was taken on December 16 last year.
The complaint alleged that Kampong Speu police used violence against 35 villagers protesting against the bulldozing of farmland by Master Internatioal Group Co Ltd on January 26 this year. One man was allegedly beaten and stabbed with a bayonet, while two pregnant women were beaten with an AK-47. Both women later miscarried.
The complaint requested that three top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party – National Assembly president Heng Samrin, Senate president Chea Sim, and Prime Minister Hun Sen – intervene to return the farmland and demanded US$35,000 in compensation for 35 people who experienced violence on January 26.
Sau Pom, 49, a representative of the families, said yesterday: “Now that the farmland has been taken, our cattle are forced to find grass in nearby cassava plantations, where people shoot them and give us no compensation.” Kampong Speu governor Kang Heang could not be reached for comment yesterday. CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said he was unaware of the complaint.