LandArticle Year 2013 in Review: Land, a Country in Crisis
March 21, 2014
Elections aside, land remained the single most contentious issue in Cambodia in 2013, as it has been for at least the last 10 years. Over 2.2 million hectares of Cambodian land have been granted to large firms in the form of economic land concessions (ELCs).
February 14, 2014
At about 7am this morning, the road leading to Borei Keila was blocked and riot police, military police and security guards were deployed to remove the families from the building. Six people were seriously injured in the ensuing clashes, including one 7-month-pregnant woman.
January 28, 2014
Today, the United Nations will conduct a Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of Cambodia to look into some of the key human rights issues affecting the country, from systematic attacks against human rights defenders to labour trafficking and obstacles against basic freedoms such as right to assembly and expression. LICADHO, by itself and with partners, has contributed to this process by submitting a number of documents.
September 4, 2013
Today marks one year of detention since the arrest of Boeung Kak activist and prisoner of conscience Yorm Bopha. This video tells her story, from her strong stance in support of detained community members to her arrest and groundless conviction.
July 23, 2013
The Guardian newspaper recently ran a damning expose of child labor on the KSL Group sugar plantations in Cambodia that supply the sugar giant Tate & Lyle Sugars. Rather than acting quickly to address the abuses, the companies seem to have resorted to a strategy of denial and legal bullying in an attempt to defend their tarnished reputations.
July 3, 2013
In the wake of another two days of protests by members of the Boeung Kak community in Phnom Penh, who are demanding just resolution to a long-standing land conflict affecting their community before the national election on 28 July, we the undersigned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) wish to condemn the use of disproportionate force against protesters by the municipal police and other security forces. These protests are just the latest in a series of protests which have resulted in the use of violence or disproportionate force against protesters calling for an end to land disputes.
May 31, 2013
Two Cambodian NGOs, LICADHO and Equitable Cambodia filed a petition on behalf of 602 complainants about serious human rights violations linked to large sugar concessions held by Thai sugar giant, Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation.
May 30, 2013
This morning near Phnom Penh city hall, authorities called in three fire trucks, which used high-pressure water from their hoses to disperse peaceful protesters from the Boeung Kak, Borei Keila and airport communities. Firefighters also targeted some community members who came to rescue colleagues who had fallen down due to the impact of the water. This video was taken at the scene.
May 22, 2013
This year's Mothers Day coincided with the 250th day of imprisonment Yorm Bopha, a key Boeung Kak lake representative. The video highlight some of her activism and call for her release.
May 8, 2013
On the morning of May 8, 2013, Boeung Kak community activists gathered in front of the South Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh to call for the release of Boeung Kak activist Yorm Bopha, declared Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International earlier this year. The action was in solidarity with a similar gathering in front of the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul, where South Korean activists were joined by a visiting Boeung Kak community member. The simultaneous gatherings in the two countries each culminated in the supporters submitting letters calling for the release of Yorm Bopha to Embassy officials.
May 2, 2013
The Boeung Kak community and the undersigned civil society groups call for the inclusion of all remaining families into the 12.44ha concession area by the former lake. A new plan unveiled today by the community shows in detail how this could be achieved in a just and equitable fashion.
On August 11, 2011, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed Sub-Decree No. 183, awarding 12.44ha of the Boeung Kak lake area to the community, which since 2007 has been involved in a land dispute with Shukaku Inc., owned by CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin. Since then, 631 families have received titles for their land. However, over 70 families, whose homes are not located within the confines of the concession zone as outlined in the Sub-Decree, have been excluded.
April 23, 2013
There has been some recent confusion surrounding the criminal case against Boeung Kak community activist Yorm Bopha. The muddling of the facts causing this confusion has been no accident – it reflects an intentional campaign by the authorities, complete with plausible allegations of payments to counter-protestors and even a disturbing weighing-in by the Prime Minister himself. In reality the facts underlying Bopha’s unwarranted conviction are simple, and reveal beyond any doubt that the authorities have targeted her to create fear and self-censorship among the remaining active members of the beleaguered Boeung Kak community.
March 13, 2013
On the morning of March 13, 2013, a group of military police and police officers, accompanied by district security guards, stormed a peaceful protest by the Boeung Kak Lake community. In what turned out to be the most violent crackdown against this community, five citizens were left injured, including broken teeths and bones.
March 13, 2013
Authorities’ escalated their ongoing crackdown on the Boeung Kak Lake community today, as police launched a brutal attack on demonstrators who had gathered in a public park outside the Prime Minister’s house.
Three people were detained and five were seriously injured, including Lous Sokorn, the husband of imprisoned Boeung Kak rights activist Yorm Bopha. The demonstrators were calling for the release of Bopha, who has been designated a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.
February 26, 2013
Today is Yorm Bopha’s 176th day in Correctional Center 2, a prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
Bopha is a human rights defender from the Boeung Kak community who played an active role in the movement calling for the release of the Boeung Kak 13, a group of women who were imprisoned in May 2012 for defending their land rights. The 13 were released on June 27, but Bopha was arrested on Sept. 4, 2012, and accused of beating of a man in Boeung Kak. Though she maintains her innocence, Bopha was convicted on Dec. 26, 2012, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Since Bopha’s arrest, Boeung Kak residents and other supporters have staged approximately a dozen major protests calling for her release. This photo album documents some of these events.