One Land Disputant Detained, 20 Released in Tbong Khmum

Twenty villagers engaged in a dispute with a rubber plantation over more than 400 hectares of land in Tbong Khmum province were released from custody on Tuesday after they were arrested the day before for allegedly damaging the company’s land-clearing machinery, an official said.

Tbong Khmum provincial administrative director Mao Dung said the 20 people were released at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening while one man, Heoun Sineat, remained in detention and was sent to court for questioning after the company had filed a complaint requesting his arrest.

Speaking with VOD prior to their release, Tha Lida, who participated in a community protest against the firm but evaded arrest,said some 20 other villagers from Trapaing Pring commune in Dambe district demonstrated on behalf of 129 impacted families and were arrested on Monday morning after they protested the company’s moves to clear farmland that villagers claim is theirs. 

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