Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Request for intervention for the release of 10 arrested community members as a result of forced eviction of Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh on January 3-4, 2011 and seeking of intervention to stop searching for the arrest of other community members

Subject:          Request for intervention for the release of 10 arrested community members as a result of forced eviction of Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh on January 3-4, 2011 and seeking of intervention to stop searching for the arrest of other community members.

As above-mentioned, we, the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a coalition of 23 member organizations, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGO Forum), a coalition of 86 member organizations, the Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), a network of 12 member organizations, The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL), a coalition of 9 member organizations, Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), a network of 7 federations, and Civic Alliance for Social Accountability in Cambodian (CASA), a coalition of 12 member organizations, would like to respectfully inform Your Excellency Minister of Justice that: on January 3-4, 2011, hundreds of private security forces and the armed forces equipped with weapons, shields, electrical sticks and tear gas have used bulldozers to destroy houses and other properties of the local residents living in Borei Keila community, forcing them to move from their houses. There were reports of approximate 200 villagers had used their rights of self-defense against the forced eviction which was violently carried out by the authorities and to protect their houses and properties from being destroyed. There were at least 10 of the villagers have been currently arrested and held detention in Prey Sar prison.

As a result of this violent incident, the civil society coalition has noted that the residents have been facing many problems, including losing of their houses, shelters, food, employments and some of them are reported to have been living in a very bad condition, while some others are reported to be falling ill, and seriously injured with similar to the condition of those who were just liberated from the Khmer Rouge regime. According to our observation, there were some residents have been arrested and detained in prison, while others have been feared of being arbitrarily arrest by the competence authorities. Furthermore, the situation may have caused uncertainty even if they were moving to the new locations.

Based on above problem, we would therefore like to kindly request Your Excellency to make interventions to release the 10 arrested person so that they can have their freedoms and to stop searching for further arrest of the other villagers.

Please, Your Excellency, accept our highest assurance.
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