Koh Kong Land Disputants Protest as Two Questioned for Incitement, Defamation

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Land protesters in a dispute with the Heng Huy sugar plantation in Koh Kong province gather outside the provincial court on November 12, 2020. (Supplied)

Hundreds of people from seven communities in two Koh Kong districts gathered in front of the provincial court on Wednesday morning as two land-dispute representatives faced questioning for incitement and defamation.

Phav Nhoeung and Seng Lin were summoned by the Koh Kong Provincial Court prosecutor based on a complaint from Chhay Vy, their former representative.

Vy, who previously represented “Community 175,” a group of villagers in a land dispute with the Heng Huy sugar plantation, filed the complaint over claims that she was working to sell the community’s land.

Protester Deth Huor said 600 people had gathered from seven communities in Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor districts.

“We know clearly that both of them have done nothing wrong. So we came to monitor,” she said, complaining that the court was unjust and biased.

Around 100 security officers watched over the protest and prevented them from getting too close to the court boundaries, she added.

Resident Bun Leang, from Chi Khor Loeu commune, repeated the accusation that Vy, the plaintiff, had worked to get residents to sell land to a tycoon.

“We support them because they are innocent people. Instead, the one who filed a complaint against them is the one who secretly sold many hectares of land, but the court has not taken any action against it.”

The residents have previously filed a complaint to Interior Minister Sar Kheng about the accusation.

Vy, the former representative and plaintiff, has denied the accusation of working to get residents to sell their land, previously telling VOD that the accusation had affected her honor. She called on the defendants to produce evidence.

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