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Borei Keila Residents Want Court Action After Eviction

Nearly 200 families were moved here from the city, following a forced eviction at Borei Keila, a Phnom Penh neighborhood slated for development by the company Phan Imex.

A group of nearly 50 residents of the embattled neighborhood of Borei Keila protested in front of Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court building on Monday to demand court action against a development company they say has evicted them without proper housing or compensation.

Protesters held signs demanding neutral court action against Phanimex, until they were eventually dispersed by police.

The residents filed suit against the company last month to demand the company build more housing for families forced to make way for a residential development in the neighborhood.

They have demanded Phanimex build two more buildings to house ousted residents and pay compensation if around $1,000 per family.

Chhum Ngann, 39, told reporters in front of the court that she and her family were pushed to live at inferior relocation sites.

“We don’t want to live at Tuol Samnou or Phnom Bath,” she said, adding she was willing to protest “until authorities arrest us and detain us in jail.”

Phrum Pic, 70, said she had lost everything in the Jan. 3 eviction. “If my house had burned, I would still have land,” she said. “But now I have no land to live on.”

Duch Kim Sorn, Phnom Penh court judge, said he had received no complaints to act on, but he said he would check with court administration before commenting further.

Yin Savath, a defense lawyer, said that according to court procedure, only one month should pass between the filing of a court complaint and a court’s dismissal of it. So far, he had not received any notification from the court, he said.