Evictees Demand Land Within Their Communities

About 50 protesters, mainly from Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak and Borei Keila communities, demonstrated Wednesday morning outside City Hall to demand that governor Pa Socheatvong help them stay within their eviction-hit communities.

“We do not want to move to another location, but City Hall wants to move us to a relocation site in Sen Sok district,” said Boeng Kak resident Chan Puthisak.

A woman sits by the entrance to Phnom Penh City Hall on Wednesday during a protest led by villagers evicted from their homes in the city's Boeng Kak and Borei Keila neighborhoods. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
A woman sits by the entrance to Phnom Penh City Hall on Wednesday during a protest led by villagers evicted from their homes in the city’s Boeng Kak and Borei Keila neighborhoods. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Villagers from Borei Keila said municipal officials have informed them that a planned survey of the community would determine who could stay.

“[T]hose that don’t meet [City Hall’s] criteria will live in another location,” said community representative Chhay Kimhorn.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said the municipality is working to address the protesters’ grievances.

Wednesday’s demonstration comes three days after the Appeal Court upheld protest-related convictions against 11 activists, including eight women from Boeng Kak and one from Borei Keila.

Sam Sokunthea, a lawyer for seven of the Boeng Kak activists, said his clients appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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