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Boeung Kak Protesters To Be Held After Arrest

A Cambodian protester, right, from Boueng Kak lake, cries as she clashes with police officers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

The authorities have decided to hold 13 women arrested at the Boeung Kak development site on Tuesday, ignoring rights groups and dozens of demonstrators outside the court calling for their release.

The women were arrested at the site as they attempted to rebuild homes that had been demolished there earlier this year to make room for a massive commercial development.

In a statement Tuesday, the rights group Adhoc said the situation at the development site had deteriorated and that the government has a duty to protect its citizens and their right to adequate housing.

Around 50 demonstrators gathered in front of Phnom Penh municipal court Wednesday morning, where they stayed all day, anticipating the arrested women would be sent there.

City officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

“They are trying to hide their faults by continuing to detain the arrested persons,” said Chan Saveth, an investigator for the rights group Adhoc. Peaceful demonstration was not a criminal offense, he said.