April 26, 2011
HRTF Press Release
Beating and Detention of eleven Boeung Kak lake villagers and Children
April 21, 2011
The Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF) strongly condemns the violence used earlier today against peaceful BoeungKak lake protesters and the arrest of 11 villagers – including young children – in front of the Phnom Penh municipal cabinet. At around 8:30AM, about 100 villagers from the BoeungKak lake gathered in front of the Phnom Penh municipal cabinet to attempt once again to meet authorities to discuss two issues: i) to stop the lake filling causing flooding in the area, and ii) to stop evictions until authorities enter into negotiations with the villagers and reach an agreement with the affected residents.As the peaceful protest unfolded, about 80 armed anti-riot police and about 30 military police officers came in and circled the villagers. As the peaceful protest unfolded, about 80 armed anti-riot police and about 30 military police officers came in and circled the villagers. At 9:30 AM, a group of Phnom Penh municipal and Daun Penh district authorities, led by Phnom Penh Municipal Cabinet Deputy Chief KeutChhay andDaun Penh district governor SokSambath, came out to ask for the villagers to return home, ignoring the villagers’ requests for discussion. The villagers refused to leave and repeated their demands for their grievances to be heard. Shortly after, the police brought in their van and arrested an initial group of six villagers, including 11-year-old and 12-year-old boys. The remaining community members were beaten and shocked by anti-riot police using electric batons as they attempted to prevent the arrests. Following the initial clash, the anti-riot police grabbed and arrested five more female villagers one by one and used more violence against the protesters to clear the area. By the end of the incident, at least three women had fallen unconscious due to electric shocks. One elderly woman, NgetChhon was bleeding from a head injury, another woman, TepVanny had a broken finger, and several more were left bruised. Over the last two months, villagers from BoeungKaklake have staged a series of peaceful protests demanding the authorities listen to their problems and discuss the ongoing land grabbing by the Shukakucompany, owned by CPP Senator Lao Mong Kim. To this day, however, authorities have failed to resolve the increasingly tense situation surrounding the land grab. Instead, they are using delay tactics, empty promises and have repeatedly used violence to disperse the villagers. HRTF calls for the leading authority figures that ordered and oversaw this morning’s violence against peaceful protesters to be suspended and investigated. Additionally, HRTF strongly urges the government and the Phnom Penh authorities to cease its intimidation campaign and begin an honest dialogue with the BoeungKak lake residents in order to resolve the ongoing land conflict. Beating the villagers and ignoring their voices won’t make the problems go away.
Mr. SiaPhearum, Secretariat Director, HRTF: 012 852 325
Mr. Am Sam Ath, LICADHO Monitoring Supervisor, 012 327 770
to view the official press release from HRTF, click here.
April 26, 2011
NDTV is headquartered in New York City and founded by Chinese Americans. It serves more then 100 million viewers in China and around the world. It broadcasts directly into parts of mainland China via satellite, providing a truthful, uncensored Chinese-language alternative to China’s state-run media. The Boeung Kak protest from April 21st also made Phoenix TV which broadcasts in China. The video can be seen here. Something to note is that reporter says a Chinese company is developing the project but then does not give any more details besides that.
April 26, 2011
Phnom Penh officials have agreed to meet with representatives of Boeung Kak residents today, following the release of 11 villagers who were beaten and arrested on Thursday during a protest against their impending eviction. About 100 villagers were outside Phnom Penh City Hall when police violently broke up the protest, reportedly beating demonstrators with electric batons and taking away villagers as young as 11. Daun Penh District Governor Sok Sambath said on Friday that villagers had thrown stones and bottles of urine at police. “We did not want to use violence because we are also Khmer, but they disrupted order,” he said, adding that Municipal Deputy Governor Nuon Sameth would meet with villagers today. Ly Mom, a representative of Boeung Kak residents, said on Friday that she and eight other villagers were forced to plead guilty to using violence in exchange for their release. She added that the upcoming meeting was arranged by district officials and unlikely to achieve a favorable result for villagers because decisions about the project were made at municipal level. Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth declined to comment on Friday. Rights groups say more than 4,000 families will ultimately be displaced by a 133-hectare real estate development at Boeung Kak, a joint venture project between a Chinese firm and a company owned by ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin. Residents have been offered on-site relocation, housing in Dangkor district and two million riel (US$495), or cash payments of $8,500. Many believe this is far below the market value of their homes. This article was published by the Phnom Penh Post.
April 25, 2011
Today, Boeung Kak village leaders went to City Hall to hand over a petition to stop the filling in of the lake due to the terrible flooding effects it can have, let alone when it rains as well. The delivered the letter to the Sangkat and are currently still waiting to hear back from them. The flooding is a potential deadly risk for the children living around Boeung Kak and increasing the possibility of electrocution for those who have things like computers or televisions in their homes.
April 23, 2011
Police beat and arrested villagers including elderly women and children as young as 11 yesterday as they protested their impending eviction from land surrounding the capital’s Boeung Kak lake, an incident observers called a “new low” in the lakeside debacle. The violence came one day after a meeting with government officials in which donors flagged land rights and resettlement as among the Kingdom’s biggest development challenges. About 100 villagers gathered yesterday morning in front of City Hall, calling for a moratorium on the filling of the lake and new talks on resettlement and compensation plans. More than 100 local and military police subsequently surrounded the gathering as the villagers blocked Monivong Boulevard in Daun Penh district. To read the rest of the article form the Phnom Penh Post, click here.
April 22, 2011
Footage courtesty of VOA.
April 22, 2011
Footage courtesy of LICADHO.
April 22, 2011
Residents of Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak lake development were violently dispersed by riot police outside City Hall Thursday, marking an escalation in their prolonged protest against eviction. At least 11 demonstrators were arrested and four were injured in police beatings, as around 100 residents gathered to demand a meeting with city officials over their impending eviction from a development site. More than 100 riot police stormed into the gathered crowd on Thursday morning, hitting protesters with batons and shocking them, while arresting nine women and two underage boys. To continue reading the article from VOA, click here.