Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Cambodia - Land Grabbing

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HRW| 13 July 2018

Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Cambodia - Land Grabbing

Land Grabbing

 

Cambodia accepted 2014 UPR recommendation to “ensure that the granting of land concessions or the withdrawal of land titles or the legal rights to land use does not lead to violations of human rights.” However, illegal land acquisitions by politically powerful individuals who are high-ranking CPP officials and financiers of the party, or have affiliations with top leaders of the party, as well as senior members of the national armed forces and police, continue to spark land conflicts. The government has repeatedly failed to impartially and transparently resolve protracted land disputes or end unlawful land takings and to issue land titles. The land titling procedure in place continues to exclude many land grabbing victims.

Victims of land grabbing who engage in protests frequently face arbitrary detention and trumped-up charges leading to long prison sentences. Land rights activist Tep https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/14/cambodia-drop-charges-against-land-rights-defenders Vanny remains imprisoned since being arrested in August 2016, when she led a peaceful protest calling for the release of five human rights defenders. She is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence, with another 6-month prison sentence pending enforcement by the prosecutor, on the basis of bogus charges that stem from 2011 and 2013. As the leader of the Boeung Kak Lake community in Phnom Penh, she represented over 4,000 families stripped off their land to make way for a private development project operated by a CPP senator with very close links to Hun Sen.

Recommendations:

  • Immediately quash the charges against Tep Vanny and unconditionally release her;
  • Cease the harassment, arbitrary arrests, and physical assaults on land rights activists and communities, and investigate and appropriately prosecute the perpetrators of such attacks;
  • Provide fair compensation to victims of land grabbing and introduce an effective and fair system of land titling.
Read the full submission here
Original source: Human Rights Watch
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