Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Report cites govt bias in land-dispute cases

Report cites govt bias in land-dispute cases

Report cites govt bias in land-dispute cases

Mechanisms to resolve land disputes have been at best ineffective and at worst used as tools against those most vulnerable to rights abuses, rights groups said Thursday.

Speaking at the launch of a new report on land rights, Ny Chakrya, monitoring head for the rights group Adhoc, singled out the National Authority for the Resolution of Land Disputes and the court system as "mechanisms that have not helped the affected people".

He said land-rights abuses were likely to continue, particularly in light of the government's use of the courts to silence protesters. "The courts have been used to solve land disputes by putting people who complain in prison," he said, noting that Adhoc knew of 150 people who were arrested in such disputes in 2008, as well as 50 so far in 2009.

Chiv Keng, president of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, dismissed the claim that the courts were being used by the government against the poor. He said those who complained about the court system were often "losers" in land disputes. "So, of course, they shout that the court is unjust," he said, "but we follow the law in reviewing land cases."

The event at the World Vision office in Phnom Penh marked the publication of "Losing Ground", a report from a coalition of local NGOs that reviews recent land disputes in the capital and in the provinces. It also marked the local launch of Amnesty International's Demand Dignity campaign.

In a statement, Amnesty said forced evictions were "one of the country's most serious human rights violations today.... The increasing number of land disputes, confiscations, and industrial and urban redevelopment projects hurt almost exclusively people living in poverty".

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from