NGO Says Dispatch of Troops Against Protesters Unjustifiable

Soldiers should not have been deployed in support of a warrant to arrest land dispute protesters in Kratie province in May—an operation that led to the killing of a 14-year-old girl by armed forces, a Japanese human rights group said in a new report. The report by Tokyo-based Human Rights Now, which was based on a June investigation into land conflicts in Cambodia, includes interviews conducted with Kratie provincial governor Sar Chamrong and Kratie’s Provincial Court president Din Sivuthy, who both defended the decision to deploy troops against civilians. … The Japanese investigators also found that the number of land conflicts in Cambodia is on the rise, and that many of these situations have been exacerbated by what they called illegal arrests, imprisonments, and extrajudicial killings. The group also found that laws are not being implemented properly, leaving people vulnerable to eviction. Japan has a vested interest in the Cambodian legal system, and in the Civil Code in particular, because it is based on the Japanese model and was drawn up with the help of Japanese experts and with Japanese financial assistance.