About 30 former Borei Keila women filed a petition yesterday asking for King Norodom Sihamoni to intervene and release seven of their fellow evictees who have been locked in Prey Sar prison since violent clashes with police on January 3.
Khouth Sophak Chakrya/Phnom Penh Post
About 30 former Borei Keila women petitioned King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday to intervene and facilitate the release of seven other evictees detained at Prey Sar prison since last month.
Chum Ngan, 40, one of the evictees filing the petition, said the Borei Keila evictees were turning to the royal family for a solution because their series of pleas to public institutions such as the National Assembly, City Hall and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet had been ignored.
“We hope that the King will urge the local authority through Prime Minister Hun Sen to end our conflict,” she said.
The Borei Keila evictees’ petition to the king calls for the release of the seven Borei Keila evictees arrested as development firm Phan Imex demolished their homes on January 3.
It also asks for the company to honour the contract it signed by constructing two more buildings and for evictees to be compensated for their destroyed homes and property.
Royal Cabinet officials could not be reached for comment.
Sia Phearum, president of the Housing Rights Task Force, said evictees of Borei Keila had filed the petition because the local authority was not dedicated to resolving evictees’ problems.
“This is their last choice. They need the King and [Hun Sen] to help them,” he said. Phnom Penh deputy governor Nuon Someth disputed claims that city officials did not care about people once they were moved to relocation sites.
“Phnom Penh municipality has been developing gradually by equipping clean-water systems and offering small loans,” he said. However, he acknowledged some faults in implementing the government’s resettlement policy.
In 2003, Phan Imex Company signed an agreement with the government to construct 10 six-storey buildings on two hectares of land to house 1,776 displaced families, in exchange for the right to develop the remaining 2.6 hectares.
Only eight have been built.