Four fishermen in Kampong Thom province have been held for three days, following accusations they destroyed the river nets of two fishing concessionaires.
The four men had been a part of a group of 12 who on Sunday removed fishing nets from a river in Kampong Kor commune to allow fish to move to a pond, officials said.
The nets belonged to two businessmen who had paid for the rights to fish the river in that area, officials said.
Provincial prosecutor Ty Sovathal said the men cut the nets of the concessionaires and robbed some of the netting.
Sien Hong Da, 40, Ny Nang, 40, Suong Son, 30, and Yeur Yon, 28, were all arrested Monday and are still being held in the provincial jail, officials said. Fellow villagers say the men do not deserve to be held.
"We think that is unfair," said Kampong Kor resident Prum Than. "We are hurt that they are detained on such a falsity."
In Kongchit, an investigator for the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the fishermen had agreed to pay 3 million riel in compensation to the concessionaires.