At least eight more residents of two villages in Kampot province have fled their homes, fearing arrest in a land dispute, rights officials and villagers said Friday.
The residents, of Banteay Meas district, fled as police were searching for protesters following a violent clash with authorities in April.
“We are very concerned over police arresting us without finding the wrong or right reason in the land dispute,” said a leader of the protesting villagers who asked not to be identified.
Twenty-eight people have fled their homes since the violence in April, the leader said, and some of them have gone as far as Battambang and Siem Reap provinces.
Ith Kong Chet, an investigator for the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the arrest was a threat to the security of people and a serious human rights abuse.
Police say they are not arresting protesters, per se, but those who damaged private property and injured people during April’s clashes.