Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear land dispute villagers to be released



Preah Vihear land dispute villagers to be released

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Loy Ly Hour arrested on April 24 over land dispute in Preah Vihear province. Supplied

Preah Vihear land dispute villagers to be released

The Preah Vihear provincial governor has said that 14 villagers who were arrested with their representative for clearing land in a dispute with a private company will soon be released on bail.

Provincial court prosecutor Ty Sovinthal said on Thursday that the 14 would be released next week after an intervention by involved parties.

The Preah Vihear provincial prosecutor added that the court was preparing documents for the release of the 14 villagers and their representative Loy Ly Huor. They had been detained for clearing land in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Loy Ly Huor has committed an offence, but because the provincial governor has intervened with the court his release will come within one or two weeks. A government lawyer intervened on behalf of the 14 and is preparing a request to have them released on bail,” Sovinthal said.

A 16th villager escaped after authorities detained him.

Ly Huor, a provincial land community representative, was arrested on Wednesday for confinement and torture, as well as stealing weapons. He has been held in the provincial prison.

The villagers have been detained since mid-January on charges of clearing state land and land belonging to Metrei Pheap, a private company.

Provincial Environment Department director Song Chansocheat told The Post on Thursday that Ly Huor had been detained but did not elaborate further.

Some 300 families have been locked in an ongoing land dispute in Choam Ksan district’s Choam commune.

Representatives of the disputants came to Phnom Penh to ask for intervention by Prime Minister Hun Sen, before it was then requested in February that the provincial governor prepare procedural formalities to release the 15.

Preah Vihear provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, Lor Chann, said on Thursday that the re-arrest of Ly Huor, despite the guarantee of government officials, was unfair as the prosecutor had said it would not happen.

“I hope that they will all be released because the arrests in this dispute came despite it not involving state land. It involves land where the residents have lived since before Metrei Pheap was granted the land concession,” Lor Chann said.

Provincial governor Un Chanda could not be reached for comment by The Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration