Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Statement: Intimidation and death threat in Boeung Kak 1



Phnom Penh, 30 October 2013 - The Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF) and the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) condemn the brutal intimidation that were used in the past days against three families involved in a land dispute with the Khun Sear Import Export Company, in the Boeung Kak 1 area in Phnom Penh.

In the past two days, employees from the Khun Sear Company perpetrated many acts of harassment, intimidation and attempts of harms on the three families residing on a disputed plot of land in the Sangkat Boeung Kak 1. On the afternoon of the 28 October 2013 several men disturbed the peaceful business of M. Ly Srea Kheng and his wife by chasing away the potential customers. The same day, employees from the same Company threatened the families about killing their pets and, later at night, M. Ly Srea Kheng’s two dogs and Mrs. Sok Houch’s cat were poisoned and dropped in front of the houses. Moreover, chemical supposed to be insecticide were sprayed on one of the house.

During the night of 30 October 2013, at around 1:30 AM, M. Ly Srea Kheng discovered a man running from the main building. After inspection, he found that poisonous cobras were dropped near the wall of the houses. The residents caught two of the deadly snakes and killed one.

Bringing several dangerous snakes in the houses of urban poor families is more than an act of intimidation; it’s a death threat showing the intent to kill and should never been used and mostly not as tool to try to win over a land dispute.
These barbarous actions are recalling the previous and continuous coercion and violence made by worker hired by Khun Sear Import Export Company. Since May 2013, the residents had their property destroyed, their business demolished, their physical security threatened and violated, their water pipes and electricity cut off as well as five of their pets killed. No real actions were ever taken by the local authorities against the perpetrators.

The HRTF and CHRAC are strongly condemning these continuous attempts of intimidation, violence and death threats against three families, residing legally for decades on their plot of land in Boeung Kak 1. The HRTF and CHRAC call on the judicial authorities to take appropriate and quick sanctions against the perpetrators in order to ensure the fulfillment of the Government’s duty to protect the security of its citizens.

More information, please contact:
Mr. Suon Bunsak, Executive Secretary, CHRAC;           Tel: 092 344357
Mr. Sia Phearum, Secretariat Director, HRTF;               Tel: 060313451


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