Saturday, October 10, 2009
(Post by CAAI News Media)
PHNOM PENH: Authorities in Cambodia have evicted around 76 families and destroyed their homes in the country's northwest, a rights group said Saturday.
The villagers were forced to move when their homes in Oddar Meanchey province were bulldozed and set on fire Friday, local human rights group Licadho said.
Police, however, said they were only removing the temporary shelters of people illegally settling on a plantation belonging to a sugar company.
"All those families are now staying in a pagoda, but they refused to accept the offers of land exchange by the company," said Srey Naren from Licadho.
The Cambodian government has faced criticism for forced evictions carried out by the army and police throughout the country, which have increased as land prices have risen over the past few years.
Last year over 20,000 people were reported affected by forced evictions from their homes in the Southeast Asian country, according to rights group Amnesty International.