PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — An international human rights group has charged that a massive land redistribution program spearheaded by Cambodia’s strongman prime minister is unfair, open to corruption and politically motivated.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report issued Thursday that the program was designed to be closely identified with Prime Minister Hun Sen in the run-up to a national election next month, with extensive coverage in state media but no oversight. It says that it benefits the rich and powerful with no recourse for those who lose out in the process.

Tith Sothea, a government spokesman, says the report’s charges are baseless. He says Cambodians are benefiting from the program because it prevents their land from being stolen.

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