The relocation site for residents of Dey Krehorm, who were forcibly evicted in the early morning hours of Saturday 24 January, reportedly is woefully inadequate with many homes not ready and without clean water or electricity in the area. Removed from their land, homes and livelihoods, several Dey Krahorm residents have protested at the National Assembly for justice and proper compensation (Images here).
The development company, 7NG, announced this week that the remaining residents have until 31 January to accept its compensation offer or receive nothing.
Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia released a call to action for letters to be faxed or emailed to the Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Muncipal Governor of Phnom Penh, which call on the 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
The Phnom Penh Post has several articles about the eviction and the relocation site including an op-ed from David Pred, Director, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia in The grand theft of Dey Krahorm:
"The displaced residents of Dey Krahorm are now homeless, traumatised and reliant on the good will of humanitarian organisations to meet their basic needs. The Government of Cambodia is solely responsible, under the international law obligations to which it is bound, for addressing the humanitarian situation that it has created. The government is also legally responsible to ensure that the land and property that was taken or destroyed is restored to its lawful possessors, or that they receive just and fair compensation for their losses. Any failure to do so should result in condemnation and sanctions by the UN and Cambodia's donor community."
and also from the Phnom Penh Post, Getting Relocations Right:
"Instead of the new life promised by the developer, most found empty fields. Of the scores of families evicted, fewer than 30 were assigned homes at the relocation site, where families that had earlier accepted relocation were already trying to build a new community."
(Din Somethearith, a project manager at the UN Human Settlements Program (UN- Habitat), was quoted in the same article)
"In the absence of legal guidance, Din Somethearith said the developer needed to take responsibility for a peaceful and fair resolution to disputes.
'Both the private developers and government should work together in facilitating relocations in Phnom Penh', he said. 'It is the developer's responsibility to think about the living conditions, access to running water and well-being of the residents [they are relocating before concentrating on the profits of the development.'
'There should be communication with the communities before, during and after developments in Phnom Penh by the government and the developers.'"
The relocation site for forcibly evicted residents of Dey Krahorm. © John Vink/ Magnum
Independent online media source, K7 (Ka-set) wrote about the relocation in Bricks, walls but no money: revision of the compensations promised to Dey Krohom evicted families
"On Saturday, the day of the eviction, 7NG director Srey Chanthou and the vice-governor of Phnom Penh, Mann Chhoeun, painted in front of journalists an idyllic picture of the City of Peace, where everything was supposedly ready to welcome them...
However, a few details undermine the picture. First, the zone is indeed connected to the electricity and clean water networks... but not the houses.
And the price for individual installation goes about USD 140 for electricity and
USD 150 for water. Then, after a rough inspection, it looks like not enough houses are ready. Builders are still at work. And “because of the Chinese new year”, as we were told, only a dozen inhabitants from Dey Krohom obtained their keys to an apartment."
In an act of resistance, Dey Krahorm residents hold hands before being forcibly evicted. (© Peter Harris - Fotojournalism.net)
WITNESS partner LICADHO has an excellent photo gallery of the eviction, including the first photo of this post. For more bakground on the Dey Krahorm case, LICADHO has a briefing paper in English and Khmer. Also for background, check out as my previous posts from this week.