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Cambodians file claim before Intl. Criminal Court alleging widespread & systematic land seizures by govt. & govt-linked businesses amount to crime against humanity

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Article
7 October 2014

Cambodians claim land grabs are crime against humanity [Subscription only]

Author: Michael Peel, Financial Times

A petition to be filed at The Hague on Tuesday against a group of politicians, security chiefs and business magnates in the southeast Asian country raises the stakes for land disputes by arguing that systematic illegal seizures can be a crime against humanity...[T]he argument behind it has a potential impact on sectors such as resources and commodities, where companies are increasingly becoming embroiled in disputes over land rights. “The message this case sends to companies is that they need to do their due diligence much more carefully,” said Richard Rogers, a partner in Global Diligence, the London-based law firm bringing the ICC claim...In a separate Cambodia damages case brought to the High Court in London last year, 200 villagers allege a sugar business formerly owned by the UK’s Tate & Lyle sourced cane from a plantation...on land grabbed by government agents, including military police. “In our view, there is no basis for the villagers’ claims against us,” T& L Sugars said...The new Cambodia claim to the ICC accuses the country’s ruling elite of a “widespread and systematic attack” on the rights of the civilian population, including land-grabbing “on a truly massive scale”... [Also refers to CocaCola] 

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Item
7 October 2014

Communication under Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court - The Commission of Crimes Against Humanity in Cambodia

Author: Global Diligence LLP

This...Communication outlines the mass human rights violations perpetrated against the Cambodian civilian population by senior members of the...[Cambodian] Government...senior members of State security forces, and government-connected business leaders (...the "Ruling Elite")...from July 2002 to present...[T]he Ruling Elite have illegally seized and reallocated millions of hectares of valuable land...for exploitation or speculation by its members and foreign investors...Those who resist evictions have faced brutal violence, trumped-up criminal charges and other forms of persecution...Land grabbing and associated deforestation has disproprotionately affected the indigenous minority population...[d]ue to their particular dependence on and cultural attachment to land...[The] investigation has uncovered a well-organised and recurring pattern of perpetration, which relies on complicity between the [Cambodian Government], State Security Forces, local authorities, private businesses and judiciary...

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Article
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Author: FIDH

« Cambodge : Un examen préliminaire devrait être ouvert par la CPI sur les crimes résultant de l'accaparement des terres commis à grande échelle », 7 octobre 2014

Une communication soumise aujourd'hui au Bureau de la Procureure (BdP) de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) atteste que la pratique massive et systématique des crimes découlant de l'accaparement des terres pratiquée par...de hauts responsables gouvernementaux, des forces de sécurité à leur service et des dirigeants d'entreprises proches du gouvernement ont mené une attaque contre la population civile, avec le double objectif de s'enrichir et de garder le pouvoir à tout prix. Les crimes commis dans ce cadre incluent des meurtres, des déplacements forcés de population, des emprisonnements illégaux, des actes de persécutions et d'autres actes inhumains...Celles qui ont été expulsées de leurs terres continuent de souffrir, dans des conditions effroyables, dans les camps de réinstallation où l'insécurité alimentaire et les maladies sévissent. Proportionnellement, les minorités autochtones ont été particulièrement touchées...

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Article
7 October 2014

Summary of communication & other information on Cambodians’ formal claim that systematic land seizures amount to crimes against humanity

Author: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

“Cambodia: ICC preliminary examination requested into crimes stemming from mass land grabbing”, 7 October 2014

A communication filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC)…alleges that widespread and systematic land grabbing conducted by the Cambodian ruling elite for over a decade amounts to a crime against humanity. The communication contends that senior members of the Cambodian government, its security forces, and government-connected business leaders carried out an attack on the civilian population with the twin objectives of self-enrichment and preservation of power at all costs. Crimes committed as part of this campaign include murder, forcible transfer of populations, illegal imprisonment, persecution, and other inhumane acts…

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Author: FIDH

"Camboya: Examen preliminar de la CPI solicitado por crímenes derivados del acaparamiento masivo de tierras", 7 Oct 2014

Una comunicación remitida hoy a...la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) atesta que la práctica generalizada y sistemática del acaparamiento de tierras...por parte de la élite dirigente de Camboya, constituye un crimen de lesa humanidad. La comunicación explica que altos cargos del Gobierno camboyano, las fuerzas de seguridad, y los dirigentes de empresas relacionados con el Gobierno, perpetraron un ataque contra la población civil con el doble objetivo de enriquecimiento personal y preservación del poder a cualquier costo..."Teniendo en cuenta el continuo incumplimiento de parte del sistema judicial camboyano de investigar de forma adecuada estos graves crímenes y asegurar remedios verdaderos a las personas afectadas, la CPI constituye ahora el camino más realista para que las víctimas obtengan justicia," afirmó el presidente de la FIDH Karim Lahidji. "...Richard J. Rogers, el abogado de las víctimas camboyanas probó que en los últimos catorce años, unas 770.000 personas (el 6 % de la población), se han visto afectadas por el acaparamiento de tierras en Camboya...Las personas que se han opuesto al acaparamiento de tierras han sido brutalmente reprimidas...

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Article
10 July 2014

Cambodians say land grabs have led to crime against humanity; want the ICC to investigate

Author: Megha Bahree, in Forbes Asia

...Cambodian citizens [have filed a complaint] at the Hague against a group of politicians, security chiefs and business tycoons, alleging that a systematic and sustained land grab by them amounts to a crime against humanity that needs to be tried at the International Criminal Court...The complaint says..."The Ruling Elite have illegally seized and re-allocated millions of hectares of valuable land...for exploitation or speculation by its members and foreign investors...Those who resist evictions have faced brutal violence, trumped-up charges and other forms of persecution"...The complaint cites estimates by NGOs that roughly 770,000 people, or 6% of the Cambodian population, have been adversely affected by land grabbing since the year 2000...

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