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12 Sep 2021

Mech Dara, VOD

Cambodia: Police arrest over 30 villagers as protests continue; villagers demand better compensation in a land dispute with company in new airport construction project

"Violence, Around 30 Arrests at New Phnom Penh Airport Development", 12 September 2021

Around 30 people were arrested ... amid violence, villagers and local officials said, as unrest around Phnom Penh’s new international airport development project in Kandal province continued to escalate.

The project, a joint venture between the civil aviation authority and tycoon Pung Kheav Se’s Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, has met mounting resistance ... as authorities and developers have tried to bulldoze holdouts’ rice fields to clear the way for the development. People who own land in the area say they want compensation in line with market values, not the $8 a square meter on offer.

..., about 100 people gathered at the disputed site raising banners and yelling through loudspeakers, according to around 10 villagers ...

... Authorities began to arrest the protesters, and the villagers fled through rice fields and streams to get away, they said. Some houses in the area were dismantled, they said.

Bou Leap, 45, said police later dragged her husband, Soy Ra, 50, away from their house. She alleged that officers beat her husband, and confiscated the family’s tractor and motorbike.

... Boeng Khyang commune chief Nay Chandy said police and military police had arrested around 30 people throughout the day. The protesters had attacked the officers during the protest, he said.

... Leap said she was in shock. She had heard from other villagers that her son had also been beaten that day.

“I have no tears to cry now, and feel very sick, and I’m very scared because we’ve done nothing but they arrested us like we robbed them,” she said...