Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Members of Kuoy community summoned to Preah Vihear court

Members of Kuoy community summoned to Preah Vihear court

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Six Kuoy ethnic community members have been ordered to appear at the Preah Vihear provincial court. Photo supplied

Members of Kuoy community summoned to Preah Vihear court

Six Kuoy ethnic community members have been ordered to appear at the Preah Vihear provincial court on Thursday on charges of “illegal confinement” in Tbeng Meanchey district in 2014, according to the court summonses and Poek Sophorn, an official at NGO Ponlok Khmer.

The six summonses signed by Investigating Judge Chien Sros, were obtained by The Post on Monday.

They order the defendants to appear at Preah Vihear provincial court on Thursday, charged with illegal confinement in Bos Thom village, in Tbeng Meanchey district’s Brame commune, in December 2014.

“The person concerned must bring along documents related to the above case, if any. In case of failure to appear as required above, we will issue an arrest warrant,” the summonses read.

Ponlok Khmer official Sophorn, who has also been sued in the case, told The Post on Tuesday that Sros had summoned six members of the Kuoy ethnic community – Som Phan, Ros Phun, Heang Raimmo, Sok Reang, Lorn Sida and Thong Suth.

“If the authorities want to resolve the land dispute, they should have a mechanism to discuss it with them peacefully rather than using the court to pressure and threaten them. It’s not reasonable that we use such a court system, as they didn’t do what they’re accused of,” he said.

Sophorn requested the Preah Vihear provincial court to drop the charges against the villagers.

Suth, one of the six accused, said he would appear on Thursday as required but dismissed the court’s accusations. “We didn’t confine anyone. We just stopped machinery from clearing our land. We held their machinery so we could seek a solution.

“When the court summons us, it costs us time and money. If we don’t go, they’ll arrest us. They not only cleared our land but also sued us. It’s unjust for our community,” he said.

Preah Vihear provincial court spokeswoman Chum Kaniya confirmed that the investigating judge had summoned the six community members but said she did not know the details of the case and could not comment further.

The land dispute began after Chinese company Lan Feng received an economic land concession from the government in 2011 to create rubber, acacia and sugar cane plantations on land that the Kuoy ethnic community members say is their ancestral territory.

Lan Feng filed a lawsuit at the provincial court against the Kuoy ethnic group and 10 civil society organisation officials.

MOST VIEWED

  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.