Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trio accused of clearing Mondulkiri land released on bail

Trio accused of clearing Mondulkiri land released on bail

Trio accused of clearing Mondulkiri land released on bail

The Mondulkiri Provincial Court yesterday released on bail three ethnic Phnong villagers charged with illegally clearing state land on the condition that they agree not to return to their homes and farms.

The trio was arrested on Sunday having allegedly felled trees on government property in Pech Chreada district’s Pou Chrei commune.

The following day, dozens of their fellow residents descended on the provincial court to demand their release.

“The judge agreed to release my husband and the others after they put their thumbprints [on a pledge] not to go back to their farms,” said El Sreyna, 37, wife of Proy Veasna, one of the detained men.

“It’s an injustice for us because we’ve planted this farm since long ago. How can we survive when they don’t allow us to harvest the crops we have grown?”

Provincial Adhoc coordinator Sok Ratha said the villagers were within their rights as an ethnic minority to cultivate the land and build homes on it.

“If the authorities know about the law and ethnic minority rights then they would allow them to cultivate that land,” he said.

Deputy prosecutor and spokesman for the provincial court So Sovitha was unclear on the details of the case yesterday.

“The prosecutor might have charged them with clearing state land,” Sovitha said. “Now the case is in the hands of the investigative judge.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio