(Hong Kong, June 12, 2008) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has today launched an online petition to urge the prime minister of Cambodia to end land grabbing for development projects or other purposes, which has already caused and which is likely to cause tremendous suffering to hundreds of thousands of Cambodian people. These people have already been, or are likely to be, forcibly evicted from their homes and lands and relocated in areas with little social amenities and economic opportunities for their livelihood. Those who solely depend on the land to make a living have found their livelihoods destroyed, and it is likely there will be many more such evictees in the future if land grabbing is allowed to continue.
In forced evictions thus far, public forces have demolished their homes or set them on fire and destroyed their belongings including crops and plantations. Some evictees have been beaten or even arrested on fabricated charges to subdue resistance and force evictees to accept unjust compensation. It is very likely that such brutality will continue in future evictions.
The petition urges the prime minister of Cambodia to immediately end the suffering and fears of those people by halting all evictions in which disputes have not been resolved or just compensation has been paid, and by suspending all land concessions for development projects or other purposes that affect peoples homes and lands. It also urges him to enforce the land law and urge all parties, including his government, to resort to the due process of law for the adjudication of land disputes.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urges the public to join this petition whose full text is given below and which can be signed at: http://campaigns.ahrchk.net/landgrabbing/