Land Issues

Video: From Homes to Prison Cells: A Story of Land Grabbing in Cambodia

June 21, 2012 Focusing on the Boeung Kak lake and the Borei Keila cases, this video explores the impact of land grabbing on poor Cambodians and exposes the risks facing housing rights activists. It was shown at the UN Sustainable Development Conference in Rio in June 2012.

Photo Album: Meet the Boeung Kak Lake 15

June 18, 2012 In May 2012, 15 activists from the Boeung Kak Lake community in Phnom Penh were arrested in relation to a land dispute that displaced thousands of families. Thirteen of them have been convicted and are now serving prison terms; the remaining two were released from pretrial detention on June 15 but still face charges. This photo album features photographs and biographies of each of the 15 activists.

Photo Album: Free the 15: Boeung Kak Lake Children Sing for the Release of their Parents

May 31, 2012 On May 31, the children and grandchildren of "the Boeung Kak 15" - former residents of the Boeung Kak Lake community who have been jailed following a land dispute - gathered outside the Ministry of Justice to sing songs in support of their relatives.

Statement: The Culture of Impunity and Violence Must Stop

May 30, 2012 We, Cambodian and International civil society organizations represented in this statement, condemn the use of armed force and escalating violence against citizens peacefully defending their land, labor and natural resources rights. We are referring to not only the events earlier last week on 22nd May, when dozens of peaceful Boeung Kak Lake (BKL) protesters were violently dispersed and two days later when fifteen (fourteen women and one male) BKL residents were sent to Prey Sar prison and charged and convicted of unfounded criminal offenses, but also the recent shooting incidents-the killings of environmental activist Chut Wutty in Koh Kong province and 14-year old girl Heng Chantha in Kratie province, and the shooting of three young women protesting for better working conditions in Svay Rieng province. These incidents are particularly disturbing because they indicate an increasing readiness on the part of security and military forces to use lethal force against civilians.

Statement: NGOs Condemn Baseless Convictions and Violence Against Cambodian Human Rights Defenders

May 24, 2012 Shortly after a joint statement condemning the violent and arbitrary arrest of 13 women from the Boeung Kak community, Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Equitable Cambodia, Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Inclusive Development International (IDI), and Licadho Canada express their outrage at the baseless criminal convictions of the women and the utter travesty of justice that occurred today.

Video: Forcible Arrest of Venerable Loun Sovath while Supporting 13 Detained Land Activists

May 24, 2012 Venerable Loun Sovath was forcibly taken away by religious authorities while the monk was supporting a peaceful gathering of Boeung Kak lake villagers in front of the Phnom Penh court. Venerable Sovath was driven to Wat Botum, where he was questioned over his activism by religious leaders.

The group had gathered to support 13 lake representatives who - hours after the monk's removal - were unjustly given prison sentences of 2 and a half years each, some suspended.

Statement: Condemnation of Unjustified & Violent Response to Peaceful Demonstration by Boeung Kak Residents

May 22, 2012 Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Equitable Cambodia, Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and Licadho Canada condemn the unjustified and violent response to a peaceful demonstration by Boeung Kak residents and call for the immediate release of the 13 detained women.

Video: 13 Boeung Kak activists violently arrested after breaking into song

May 22, 2012 Some 18 displaced families from the Boeung Kak area arrived at the sand-filled lake accompanied by fellow residents. One family tried to erect wooden poles. Police arrived almost immediately, confiscating the residents' tools and preventing them from going forward.

Unable to continue with their original plan, the Boeung Kak residents staged a peaceful demonstration, complete with singing and speeches. Shortly before noon, when only a small group of women were still singing, mixed forces moved in and began pushing the singers, provoking a confrontation. The group dispersed, but 13 of the women -- including a 72-year-old women pictured in this video -- were chased down by the authorities and arrested.

Statement: LICADHO Calls for Investigation into Deadly Kratie Shooting

May 17, 2012 LICADHO condemns the reckless and bloody attack on a Kratie village by soldiers and police on Wednesday, which resulted in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl.

The authorities must conduct an immediate investigation into the shooting, and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

The military-style operation saw hundreds of soldiers, military police and police lock down the village a day prior to the shooting. The next morning, the armed forces, aided by a helicopter, stormed the village in Kampong Domrey commune. Authorities claim the operation was organized solely to arrest three ringleaders in an alleged "secession" plot. Villagers, meanwhile, say that the attack was motivated by an ongoing land dispute with Casotim, a firm that claims villagers are infringing on their land concession.

Statement: Violent Attack by Local Authorities against Railway Relocation Site Residents

April 6, 2012 Bridges Across Borders Cambodia (BABC), Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) and Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) condemn the violent and unprovoked attack on Trapeang Anchang relocation site residents by local authorities on the evening of April 5, 2012. The organisations also call attention to the eviction notice served to families along the railway tracks in Poi Pet - should the notice be acted upon, this would amount to forced eviction in the ADB and AusAID funded railways rehabilitation project.

Video: Cambodian Villagers Unite to Take Back Prey Lang Forest

February 28, 2012 In mid-November 2011, approximately 300 villagers from four provinces surrounding Prey Lang forest marched through the endangered woods for more than a week. They were patrolling the forest to protect it from further illegal logging and deforestation, and to protest the escalating threat posed by economic land concessions and other exploitation.

Statement: Five Shooting Incidents at Land Dispute Protests in the Past Two Months Show Alarming Increase in Use of Lethal Force

January 26, 2012 Cambodia's land-grabbing crisis has taken a disturbingly violent turn in the last two months, with at least five incidents involving armed forces opening fire during protests. A total of 19 residents were injured at the protests, including seven from gunfire.

Each of the incidents has been documented in video footage or photographs, but the perpetrators have to this day uniformly escaped punishment, exemplifying Cambodia's notorious system of impunity.

Video: Military Shoot Land Protesters in Northeastern Cambodia

January 21, 2012 On January 18, 2012, military personnel acting as security guards for TTY Co. Ltd opened fire on a group of villagers who had gathered to prevent clearing of their farmland by company's excavators in Kratie's Snuol district.

Four villagers were injured by bullets. None of the authorities present during the shooting proceeded to arrest the perpetrators.

Video: Borei Keila: Broken Promises in Cambodia

January 12, 2012 On January 3, 2012, the well-connected Phan Imex Corporation proceeded, with the help of armed state forces, to destroy the homes of some 300 Borei Keila families. This forced eviction was in violation of a legal agreement between the corporation and the Borei Keila residents that entitled all families living in the area to obtain on-site apartments.

Statement: Detained Borei Keila Residents Must Be Released from Prey Speu Center

January 12, 2012 We, the ten undersigned civil society organizations, call for the immediate release of Borei Keila residents detained yesterday and since unlawfully detained at the Prey Speu Social Affairs Center. We also call for the permanent closure of the Prey Speu center, which has been proven time and again to be nothing more than an extra-judicial detention facility.

Prison Population Watch
12,784 Occupancy Rate: →153%

Click here for the latest report on prison overcrowding
Monthly population figures as of May 31, 2014, from the 18 prisons monitored by LICADHO

The Great Cambodian Giveaway

Visualizing Land Concessions over Time