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Seven Arrested in A Chronic Kampong Thom Land Dispute

Local rights groups on Thursday asked Kampong Thom provincial authorities to stop making further arrests in a chronic land dispute which turned violence.

The group said four people have been arrested and authorities are hunting to arrest some 20 villagers more for burning the public and private properties.

Three other villagers were arrested a day earlier in the dispute.

“We suggest that the provincial authorities stop arresting more villagers who have now fled home for fear of arrest,” said Nhem Sarath, investigator for Adhoc.

Local human rights groups met with provincial police chief, provincial deputy governor and Santouk district governor to find a way to solve the land dispute.

“We have received positive results on the case and the provincial authorities have asked us to help provide social land concession to the villagers,” Nhoung Samoeun, coordinator for local human rights group Licadho, told VOA.

Authorities set a November 25 deadline.

“If the villagers follow our policy, we will try to end the criminal case. But if they don’t agree and use violence to destroy properties of our security forces and company, we will follow the law,” Kampong Thom police chief, Phan Sopheng, said.