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Dey Krahorm families go to court

Dey Krahorm families go to court

Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Left: The offices of the 7NG development company occupy the land that was formerly home to Chamkarmon district’s Dey Krahorm community, as seen on Tuesday. Top and bottom right: The houses that occupied the area in December 2008, before they were bulldozed the following month in a violent, pre-dawn eviction. A lawyer for 13 families from the
embattled community appeared in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday in a bid to secure compensation from 7NG for his clients.

A LAWYER for 13 families who were evicted from the capital’s Dey Krahorm community last year appeared in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday in a bid to secure compensation from the development company that cleared their land and now occupies the site.

Te Chamnan, the lawyer for the 13 families, said his clients were called to the court to present information in their case against the 7NG development company, whose employees dismantled 144 homes in the Dey Krahorm community last year in one of the city’s most widely publicised forced evictions.

“The 7NG lawyer repeatedly asked me to clarify why these 13 families did not receive a home at the relocation site, and he said they will check this problem again,” Te Chamnan said.

Chan Vichet, a former Dey Krahorm community representative who attended the hearing as an observer, said the 13 families had not initially received compensation because 7NG said they had rented, rather than owned, their homes. Community records indicate that they were in fact homeowners, Chan Vichet added.

After earlier being promised up to US$20,000 in compensation from 7NG, 120 of the families evicted last year were eventually given only 777,770 riels cash (US$185) and a home in Dangkor district’s Damnak Trayeung village, Chan Vichet said. The remaining 24, he added, are still seeking compensation.

The 13 families who appeared Tuesday have been summoned to appear before the court again on May 24, Te Chamnan said.

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