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Evictees Petition UN Rights Envoy for Homes

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

U.N. special rapporteur Surya Subedi walks through a Cambodian national flag upon his arrival in a conference room at the U.N. headquarter in Phnom Penh, (file photo).

U.N. special rapporteur Surya Subedi walks through a Cambodian national flag upon his arrival in a conference room at the U.N. headquarter in Phnom Penh, (file photo).

Displaced villagers from two Phnom Penh neighborhoods on Wednesday submitted a petition to the UN’s human rights envoy, who is in Cambodia on a routine fact-finding mission.

The envoy, Surya Subedi, was visiting the Phnom Penh eviction site of Borei Keila, from where hundreds of families have been pushed out to make way for a development project.

They have since been relocated to a ramshackle site outside Phnom Penh, but the development company Phanimex says it has built enough housing for the families its project ousted. Still, more than 100 families were left homeless by the Jan. 3 forced eviction.

“Help us have a house to live in after eviction,” the petition said.

Subedi told about 100 evictees from Borei Keila and the Boeung Kak lake development site that he had a “great deal of sympathy” for their situation and would continue monitoring it.

Prior to his arrival, protesters gathered at the eviction site calling on Phanimex to provide more housing. “I urge the company to respect its promise,” said protester Su Iem, 58.

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