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Shot fired into home of community activist

(CCHR/IFEX) - In the early hours of the morning of 26 July 2011 a shot was fired into the home of community activist Kun Eng in Banteay Srey district, Siem Reap province, by an unidentified gunman. The bullet missed Kun Eng, his wife and his eight-month-old daughter who were in the house at the time, and lodged into a wooden post inside their home. Mr. Eng and his family have since fled their home fearing for their safety.

Kun Eng is a community-based land rights activist who has advocated for the rights of villagers in his community. During a recent public forum held by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), which was attended by local authorities and Forestry Administration officials, Kun Eng voiced his opinion that a Forestry Administration reforestation scheme had adversely affected 105 families in Tbeng commune in 2007. He has previously publically raised the issue of local villagers seeking to sell land to third parties for personal profit to the detriment of other villagers in the area.

In 2007, the Forestry Administration turned the area into state land reserved for reforestation. Tbeng commune chief Pin Chhoy noted, in an article that appeared in "The Cambodia Daily" on 30 July 2011, that there has subsequently been an increase in villagers moving onto the land. The status of the land is still in question despite efforts by the local community to resolve the issue by lobbying the Prime Minister, the National Assembly, Senate and the Council of Ministers. Kun Eng has filed a report with the commune police about the shooting incident.

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