A land activist from Tbong Khmum province was allegedly beaten in Phnom Penh on Sunday while attending a seminar in the capital.
Hoeun Sineat is a land activist for the Sre Praing community in Tbong Khmum’s Dambe district. He was in the capital attending a seminar and went to buy some food with two other people when he was beaten by unidentified assailants in Chamkarmon district, Sineat said on Monday.
The activist said he saw three men riding on two motorcycles in Boeng Trabek commune and they attacked him, leaving him with a gash on his left cheek and other injuries to his head.
“When they rode close to me, they got off the motorbike and attacked and got on the motorbike and returned without saying anything,” he said.
Sineat said he did not know the assailants and did not have any disputes with people, and had filed a complaint with the Phsar Doeum Thkov commune on October 17.
So Samban, Phsar Doeum Thkov police chief, said he was unaware of the complaint but if Sineat had told officers about the incident then they will not ignore it.
There has been a spate of violence against at least 30 activists and opposition party members in the last five years. A Candlelight official was hit on the head with a knife near the party’s Pur Senchey office in July. A former CNRP youth activist was killed last year in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar, with police officials saying the murder was a result of a personal dispute.
Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, was the organizer of the workshop and said Sineat was an active advocate for the land rights of people in his community. Savoeun said a company had been given a concession on land used by the community.
“We don’t want to see any use of violence against people,” he added.