Sending out a second SOS

Photo @ CLEC

This morning Boeung Kak and Borei Keila communities joined households threatened with eviction by Phnom Penh International Airport in sending another SOS to US President Barack Obama, who is expected in Phnom Penh tomorrow for the ASEAN Summits.

Over 100 community members gathered at Boeung Kak carrying signs and banners saying SOS and calling on President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help Cambodians facing eviction and put pressure on the Cambodian government to release land activists Yorm Bopha and Tim Sakmony from pre-trial detention.

In anticipation of the demonstration, a variety of police forces surrounded the Boeung Kak area, preventing both entry and exit. The forces included at least three trucks of riot police wielding newly acquired shields that can electrocute people with high voltage when touched.

Unlike in a similar demonstration on Nov. 15 which resulted in the detention (and later release) of 8 community members from Thmor Kol village by the airport, no violence or arrests were reported.

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