Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prisoners 'utilised' in violent eviction

Prisoners 'utilised' in violent eviction

Prisoners 'utilised' in violent eviction

Twenty convicts in Preah Sihanouk Provincial Prison were employed by military and local authorities to tear apart a nearby village on land slated for a second prison compound, villagers and rights groups alleged yesterday.

However, prison authorities denied that any incarcerated people were involved in the actual eviction of villagers, despite multiple rights groups attesting to the prisoners’ participation.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights said yesterday that an armed force of military police, along with 20 prisoners, descended on Village 16 in Sihanoukville town late last month and tore apart the homes and crops of about 16 families living in the area.

“The use of prisoners to carry out a forced eviction in Sihanoukville highlights the irresponsible and abusive manner in which the state is administering prison labour and carrying out forced eviction, breaching the legal and human rights of both prisoners and land occupants,” CCHR said in a case study of the eviction published over the weekend.

Chan Chamroeun, provincial investigator for Adhoc, said that some prisoners were used in the dismantlement, but did not know exactly how many.

“The prisoners should not have been used in the dismantlement. They are prisoners who normally are not well educated. If they caused another problem [like violence], who would be responsible for it?” he said, adding that only legal forces should be used.

Nou Sammoeurn, whose daughter’s home was dismantled, said the scene of the eviction and dismantlement of private property was “violent”.

“I felt shocked seeing the dismantling and police armed with guns,” she said yesterday.

The current provincial prison occupies about one hectare of land and has capacity for 150 prisoners. According to Licadho, as of May 2011, there were 435 prisoners detained there.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]
Phak Seangly at [email protected]


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which