Phnom Penh, December 23, 2014: Six representatives of the Indigenous People (IP) from the Chak Cha village, Srer Chhok commune, Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri, came together for the press conference calling for immediate intervention from the Cambodian Government on the deforestation and land grabbing by the Benh Phoeuk 1 Company. This conference was facilitated by The NGO Forum on Cambodia in collaboration with ADHOC, CLEC, CIPO, DPA and UNOHCHR.
The six speakers during the press conference led the villagers to take action against illegal logging and stop land clearing in Indigenous People’s territory by the Benh Pouk 1 Company. They had to escape to Phnom Penh after they were threatened after the leading action.
The community also read the joint statement, handed by the community members, to the media during the talk.
“On the morning of December 22, 2014, Benh Phoeuk 1 sent 13 trucks along with many military police to burn and destroy 150 farm houses belong to the indigenous group in Chak Cha Village. Additionally, hundreds of families from Chak Cha Village, Srae Chhouk Commune, Keo Seima District, Modulkiri Province were threatened and evicted from their farm land by Economic land concession company, Benh Phoeuk 1.
The economic land concession named Benh Phoeuk 1 started to clear IP land on December 6, 2014. On December 14, 2014 the communities went to the national assembly to file a complaint to H.E Chea Phouch, member of committee # 1 responsible for Human Rights. On December 16, 2014, five people without identification but with guns tried to seek for information about the activists who came to meet with the national assembly. The clearance activity stopped for two days but resumed again on December 22, 2014 in the presence of security, military and 13 bulldozers at the site.
A number of media channels in Cambodia including newspapers, radios and website covered the event.
Click on the link to download the joint statement in Khmer