Dozens detained after Kandal airport protest turns violent

Villagers gather to demonstrate in front of police barricades where authorities blocked a road leading to their farmland, which is being cleared to prepare the site for a planned airport in Kandal Stung district, Picture taken on September 12, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

Family members of villagers arrested by police while protesting the clearance of their farmland to make way for a new airport in Kandal province are alleging that their relatives are being held hostage to pressure them into accepting the compensation offered for their land. Thirty people were arrested on Sunday ahead of what witnesses describe as widespread police raids, beatings and arrests.