Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Police drive out Phnom Penh squatters

Cambodian police evicted more than 1,000 families from their shantytown homes to make way for a commercial development project in Phnom Penh.

About 1,000 police descended on the slum before dawn in the operation to move residents to a new location 22 km from the city. Many refused to live at the new site claiming that it was too far from work or shopping areas, and that living conditions were intolerable.

"The relocation site is a plain rice field with a pond of water. Each family was given a few square meters of land," said a statement by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR).

"No development of the area was made so far, no electricity and clean water are available," it said.

Many residents were using simple plastic sheeting to shield themselves from the daily downpours of rain at the new location.

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