16 November 2012

SOS Cambodian Free Speech

Armed police, military police and soldiers- more than twenty of them- stormed Thmarkol village, near Phnom Penh airport yesterday morning, and dragged away 8 villagers.

Their crime?

Frightened and scared for their futures- they have been threatened with forced eviction from their homes- they had painted SOS and displayed larges images of President Obama on the roofs of their houses.

Photo: www.telegraph.co.uk
 Theirs was a vain hope that the Obama would see their handiwork when he flies in Monday, and seek a solution for them.

But what else could they do? The courts don't work and it's the politicians themselves who are often at the forefront of the Cambodian land-grabs.

Held for hours in police cells the villagers were finally released after thumb-printing a document agreeing not to protest again.

Image by: SAMRANG PRING / Reuters
Soldiers with assault rifles are now posted at regular intervals along the road to the village. Just in case some folk don't get the message that there is now an all-out war against free speech in Cambodia.

See also: Phnom Penh's Penniless Pushed Out

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