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Governor backs NGO on abuse allegations

Governor backs NGO on abuse allegations

THE governor of Preah Vihear province yesterday moved to quash allegations that a local NGO was guilty of ongoing human rights violations in the province.

Last week, local rights group Adhoc deployed human rights monitors to Preah Vihear to investigate complaints filed by 57 villagers, who say that employees of an NGO identified as the Drugs and AIDS Research and Prevention Organisation had committed acts of rape, land-grabbing, violence and intimidation.

Chan Saveth, a senior monitor for Adhoc, said the government had granted DARPO a 556-hectare social land concession in Choam Khsan district in 2007, in a move intended to aid poor families in the area.

Chan Saveth said yesterday that he could not disclose information about the investigation because it was ongoing, but that Adhoc would “continue to consult with local authorities” on the issue.

But Provincial governor Sar Thavy yesterday denied that such violations would occur in Preah Vihear.

“There is nothing like that here, and we, the local authorities, would not allow such serious human rights violations to happen in this modern age,” he said.

“We are waiting to see the faces of the victims and waiting for their official complaints before proceeding with our work and investigation.”

Interior Ministry Spokesman Khieu Sopheak urged any victims to file complaints in order to ensure that they are properly investigated by the authorities.

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