At 4am on July 17, the residents of Group 78 – a community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – awoke to dozens of armed police that had arrived to enforce a municipal order requiring the families dismantle their homes or be forcibly removed from them. There were only 7 families left in the community that morning – many had already left saying they had been coerced by local authorities into accepting compensation offers. LICADHO captured the eviction on video.
Watch and share the video on the eviction: http://hub.witness.org/en/Group78Eviction2
Watch and share the video on Group 78: http://hub.witness.org/en/blog/Group78Eviction
A coalition of NGOs in Cambodia issued a joint statement:
“Joint civil society organizations strongly condemn the 3-years-long coercion campaign of Group 78 residents to leave their homes and land, culminating in this morning’s final eviction of the area.”
“Today is yet another black day for land rights in Cambodia,” said LICADHO director Naly Pilorge. “Once more, some of Phnom Penh’s poorest and most vulnerable residents have been forced off their land in return for grossly inadequate compensation.”
Read the statement: http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/pressrelease.php?perm=211
Amnesty International condemned the forced eviction:
“The families dismantled their homes after three years of government harassment and intimidation, with no choice but to accept inadequate compensation rather than have their homes demolished.”
Read the AI press release: http://tinyurl.com/nkv22b
On July 16, the governments of 7 countries, along with the World Bank, United Nations, and others, called on the Cambodian government to stop all forced evictions in the country until a fair mechanism for resolving land disputes and a comprehensive resettlement policy are developed.
These governments and organizations are part of “Development Partners” – donors to Cambodia.