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PM intercedes in Kampong Speu jailings

People from Kampong Speu province's Taing Samrong commune protest the jailing of their community representatives over a long-running land dispute at the National Assembly yesterday.
People from Kampong Speu province's Taing Samrong commune protest the jailing of their community representatives over a long-running land dispute at the National Assembly yesterday. Hong Menea

PM intercedes in Kampong Speu jailings

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday took to Facebook to call on the Kampong Speu Provincial Court to grant bail to two community representatives arrested last week over a long-running land dispute with the military, saying he had dispatched two of his sons to the province to negotiate on their behalf.

The 72 families from Taing Samrong commune – locked in the dispute since 2010 – had protested at the National Assembly and the prime minister’s house yesterday, calling for the release of their representatives.

Ung Somith, Licadho coordinator for Kampong Speu, said You Ron and Ith Rom had been arrested for allegedly violating a 2015 warrant ordering people not to use the disputed land until the matter was resolved.

Community member Thhey Bunsem said yesterday that the group “will not go home if we don’t get any answer from our prime minister”.

He got his wish last night, when the premier posted to his Facebook page that the Kampong Speu court’s decision to detain to the two was “very disappointing”.

“I ordered the governor to work with the court tonight to release them on bail. My two sons, Hun Manith and Hun Many, are heading to Kampong Speu province to help with this issue.

I hope the prosecutor will allow the two people to be released on bail. If you do not trust [them], please detain my two sons instead.”

Provincial court administrator Sorn Vireak said yesterday he was unfamiliar with the case’s details, while judge Tong Putheara declined comment.

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