About 100 military police, riot police and government security guards on Saturday blocked a roughly equal number of protesters from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community from marching to the National Assembly to deliver a petition protesting their evictions three years ago.
“They blocked the way out and threatened to forcibly crack down on our group,” said Chhay Kimhorn, a representative of the community, which saw 300 families evicted from their homes on January 3, 2012, to make way for a residential development.
The firm behind the project, Phanimex Development, agreed to build 10 adjacent apartment blocks for the families, but has only built eight of them.
“We live under a big pile of trash, and some of our children cannot go to school because they live as scavengers and old people do not have work,” Mr. Kimhorn said.
Municipal spokesman Long Dimanche said the march was prevented from going ahead because its organizers had failed to secure authorization from City Hall.
“We did not allow them to march because it would have caused a traffic jam,” he said.