Anjali Merchant 0

Dey Krahorm Urgent Action Appeal

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To: H.E. Samdech Hun Sen Prime Minister Office of the Council of Ministers No 41, Russian Federation Blvd, Phnom Penh CAMBODIA Fax: + 855 23 426 054 Email: Dear Prime Minister Hun Sen, Re: Ensure fair and just solution for the Dey Krahorm families I am writing to express my shock at the violent eviction of the Dey Krahorm on January 24th, 2009 and to request that the evicted families receive adequate compensation for their losses. Over 300 armed police officers and up to 500 private workers demolished people's homes and personal property. The operation was marked by excessive use of force, which threatened people's lives and safety. There were reports of tear gas, water trucks, excavators and bulldozers being used in a dangerous and irresponsible manner. At least 18 people were injured during the eviction, including 5 serious injuries. I am concerned that the eviction took place when the community has strong claims to the land. In addition to their possession rights under the Land Law, Dey Krahorm land was also secured for the community as a Social Land Concession in 2003, following your welcome announcement to provide secure land tenure and to assist in the onsite upgrading of 100 inner-city poor communities each year. Dey Krahorm was supposed to be among the first urban poor communities to become beneficiaries of this plan. Since the villagers have rights to this land, the company must pay them an acceptable price if it wants to buy their land. Negotiations between the remaining Dey Krahorm families and the 7NG company were still ongoing prior to the eviction and had not yet reached a fair outcome. Cambodia is a State party to the International Covenant on Economic Social Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Under Article 11 (1) ICESCR, all authorities in Cambodia are therefore obliged to refrain from the practice of forced evictions, and to prevent third parties, including private companies, from carrying out forced evictions. Evictions can only be justified under very exceptional circumstances. These include, among others, the conduct of meaningful consultation with all those affected and adequate compensation for the loss of homes and land. Finally, I am deeply concerned by the dire humanitarian situation of the evicted families, especially those who were brought to the Damnak Trayeung relocation site, some 20km outside Phnom Penh. They have no access to clean water or sanitation, and are living in makeshift shacks. Some families have reportedly been denied access to the food distribution organized by the company. In light of the above, I respectfully urge the Cambodian government to: - Urgently take measures to meet the humanitarian needs of the families evicted, including by providing adequate food, shelter, sanitation and medical care. - Ensure that evicted families receive fair compensation for the loss of their property. - Investigate the acts of violence and other violations of the Cambodian law and human rights during the eviction, and prosecute those responsible. - End the practice of forced evictions in Cambodia. I have every confidence that the human rights enshrined in your Constitution will be fully observed in resolving this matter. Yours sincerely,


UWCSEA gap year students who worked in Phnom Penh from August 2008-December 2008
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