|Land activists push against police during a protest in front of City Hall. HONG MENEA|
Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post Fri, 18 October 2013
Yet another clash between protesters and police resulted in at least three women being knocked unconscious in the capital yesterday.
A Post reporter saw police punch and use batons to quell protesters after a group of about 250 people, including many from the Borei Keila community in Prampi Makara district, marched to City Hall and blocked Monivong Boulevard.
Hem Srey, 34, from Borei Keila, said villagers were blocked along the way, and when the situation became heated, she was struck in the temple and chest before passing out.
“I fell unconscious on the street,” she said. “If we had a resolution, we would not be blocking the street like this.”
Villagers said police had followed them from Prampi Makara district and struck them as children watched on.
But Yin San, the district’s police chief, said he had been in a meeting and was not aware of the incident. When told about the alleged violence, he hung up his phone.
Police officers at the scene refused to comment, while City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said he had received no report from police about the incident.
The protesters were continuing to call for Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong to honour the promise he made in May to resolve the city’s major – and long-running – land disputes, which also include Boeung Kak.
Borei Keila village representative Pich Limkhoun called for the governor to give villagers a solution or prepare himself for Borei Keila evictees – who have been living in tents since their houses were demolished by development firm Phan Imex last year – to set up camp outside City Hall.
“We want a solution immediately,” he said.