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Cambodian protesters scuffle with police during protests over land evictions

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 - 01:22

Oct. 10 - A number of the nearly 1,000 activists who gathered in Phnom Penh to demand fair compensation for land evictions scuffled with police. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) About 1000 protesters gathered in Phnom Penh on Thursday (October 10) to demand fair compensation for those evicted from their land by the government. Protesters from 50 communities and 10 provinces gathered first at the Wat Phnom resort before the demonstration. Some activists scuffled with riot police who were trying to stop them from marching to the city hall. Forced evictions have been rife in Cambodia in recent years and are frequently criticized by rights groups, even if the authorities may have legitimate security concerns in this case about buildings so close to the airport. Only about 20 percent of Cambodians have land titles -- a hangover from the Khmer Rouge's abolition of private property during its 1975-1979 reign of terror -- leaving many defenseless when the authorities hand their land over to big companies for development. The protest on Thursday was also to mark the 28th anniversary of World Habitat Day designated by the UN to reflect on the state of cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. According to the protesters' petition, more than 10 percent of people living in the city of Phnom Penh were evicted from their land and more than 400,000 people from the countryside have been affected since land evictions from 2003.

Cambodian protesters scuffle with police during protests over land evictions

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 - 01:22

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