via CAAI News Media
Thursday, 04 March 2010 15:04 Sebastian Strangio
Four prominent local rights organisations have expressed their “deepest concerns” after Dangkor district police prevented a demonstration by villagers protesting the alleged seizure of their farmland by an official in the Ministry of Interior. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Adhoc, Licadho, the Community Legal Education Centre and the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights all criticised the “reported blackmail of villagers who attempted to take part in the demonstration” and the confiscation of cameras from rights activists. “We call for the immediate cessation of threats of detention by the authorities involved in this case in their apparent efforts to end the claim of these villagers to the land in question,” the statement read. On Monday, villagers told the Post that police were deployed to prevent them from travelling to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in Takhmao. The villagers have said In Samon, director general of the Ministry of Interior, seized 18 hectares of farmland belonging to the village. Local officials say he has had title to the land since the 1980s.