RUFA Resident Claims He Was Struck by Soldier

A soldier guarding the Royal Uni­versity of Fine Arts allegedly struck a resident still living at the North Campus when he tried to leave the grounds to go to work on Wednesday night.

According to Nget Sophorn, 24, a Norton University student who works as a night security guard at the US Embassy, the soldier in charge hit him on the back of the head when he asked to be let out of the campus.

Nget Sophorn then phoned his supervisor at the embassy so that he could talk to the soldiers, which he did, but the soldiers still refused to let Nget Sophorn out.

The majority of people living on the North Campus must leave the grounds to go to their jobs at night, said RUFA resident Oum Sarun, 26.

All residents inform the guards of the time at which they must leave, he said.

The four soldiers on duty on Thursday said the soldiers had pushed Nget Sophorn in the direction of his home because they could not let anyone out after 8 pm.

“We need to sleep,” said a soldier. When asked, the soldiers re­fused to identify themselves or name their military unit. One of them was carrying an AK-47.

An Pagna, director of RUFA’s cultural research department, confirmed that no one was allowed to leave the grounds after 8 pm.

The Mong Reththy Group, which obtained RUFA’s land from the government in exchange for rebuilding the campus in Russei Keo district, has been offering com­pensation of up to $4,000 to RUFA teachers and their families living on the site.

Twelve families still refuse to move. They were expecting to meet company representatives on Monday, but this did not happen and they have not heard from the company since, said Thann Sin Thou, a RUFA teacher and community leader.

Nget Sophorn said he plans to file a lawsuit in Phnom Penh Mu­nicipal Court and to contact hu­man rights organizations for protection and compensation.


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