As protests against land grabbing have increased in Phnom Penh in the past five years, so too have violent crackdowns by the authorities.
Police have been criticised for their treatment of protesters – which has included beatings with electric batons and kicks to the stomach of pregnant women.
But in recent years, activists and NGOs say, private security guards employed by the Daun Penh district have increasingly been the ones inflicting violence on the predominantly female groups of activists.
Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said that in the past three years it had become common for security guards to beat protesters in the presence of – and sometimes with the help of – police. …
Shane Worrell and Chhay Channyda