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Evictees Deserve Compensation: Rights Worker

A leading rights worker denied on Monday that non-governmental organizations were pushing an agenda for the displaced residents of a Phnom Penh slum, but are urging the government to provide them fair compensation.

“We know there has been some allegations against NGOs,” said Kek Galabru, founder of the rights group Licadho, as a guest on “Hello VOA” Monday. “But we NGOs only know that the people want fair compensation if they are evicted from the area.”

Kek Galabru was addressing government criticism of rights groups in the eviction of Dey Krahorm, a neighborhood in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district, over the weekend.

Residents, who are among the city’s most disenfranchised, were ejected hundreds of demoltion workers of the 7NG development company and riot police, who launched tear gas and opened water cannons on them.

7NG had promised to pay $20,000 per home, but only one person of thousands had been compensated, Kek Galbru said. Some had only received $500.

7NG adviser Srey Sothea canceled an appearance on “Hello VOA” Monday.

Forced evictions have occurred with more frequency in recent years, as land prices in the capital and across the nation have risen. Kek Galabru said evictions of should be done according to law and in the interest of the people.