Hearing in the case of seven land rights and community activists scheduled for 15 January at Siem Reap Provincial Court

Created Date : 14 / Jan / 2013
Nature of Violation : Legal/Judicial
Rights Involved :


Siem Reap Provincial Court has scheduled the trial of seven landrights and community activists –Doung Doeum, Chhek Sambo, Vech Vy, Pok Rin, PhinYun, In Sin, and Khiem Ly – from Banteay Srey district, Siem Reap Province, totake place on 15 January 2013 at 8:30 am. Vech Vy and his wife Chhek Sambo were detained in 2009 for six months oncharges of infringement on private property through the use of violence underArticle 253 of the Land Law 2001. They were later released on the basis of alack of evidence to support the charge. However, the charge was never dropped.The case was recently resurrected by the Siem Reap Provincial Court and fiveother activists have been accused of the same crime. These charges of violent infringement of private property are inrelation to a land despite in Skun and Traeng villages in Tbaeng commune, which began in 2005 when the chiefsof these two villages sold 170 hectares of occupied land to businessman Oknha SeangNam. Two hundred and twenty-two families of villagers have been protestingagainst the sale of this land ever since. The villagers have been extremelyactive and have organized many demonstrations in Siem Reap and surroundingprovinces. Due to the lack of a resolution in this case, the villagers returnedto the disputed land in 2008. As a result, a complaint against the villagers wasfiled to the court by Lun Phun, Teas Sopha, An Da Lin and Sun Thea, who had sincebought the land and claimed ownership.If found guilty, these activists could face fines of up to fiftymillion Riel and up to five years imprisonment. A follow up to this HRD Alertwill be issued as soon as there are updates from the court.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact CCHR Human Rights DefendersProject Coordinator Suon Bunthoeun via telephone at +855 (0) 1248 35 46 or e-mail at [email protected].