Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Families fear arrest after defiant stand

Families fear arrest after defiant stand

Families fear arrest after defiant stand

Villagers living on state-owned property in Pailin province fear that police will arrest them after they ignored orders to vacate their land by last Saturday, a representative said yesterday.

At the beginning of the month, authorities sent a letter to 19 families who started clearing land and building homes in Sala Krao district’s Phnom Kren village in February, saying the land sat on a stretch of more than 2,100 hectares reserved for development of an airport, said Prak Sophima, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc.

The families, part of nearly 150 families who were each granted three hectares of land for agriculture by a commune chief in 2000, recently moved to live there, said Chhay Chhat, 43, a representative of the families.

Authorities have not taken any action against those still occupying the property.

Since the March 15 deadline has passed, four representatives of the families living on the property have received a letter from Pailin provincial police, asking them to appear for questioning.

“We are very suspicious,” Chhat said. “We are worried this is a pretext to interrogate and arrest us.”

Sala Krao district deputy governor Sam Saret said the families have been told many times that the state owns the land.

A Pailin provincial official contacted yesterday declined to comment on the issue.


  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the