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Mr. Kem Sokha's Lawyer Plans to Appeal The Court's Decision


The lawyer of a human rights activist who is imprisoned at Prey Sar prison on Friday appeals against the Phnom Penh municipal court's decision denying to have his client on bond.

Mr. Som Chandyna, Mr. Kem Sokha's lawyer told VOA that he will appeal for his client.

Mr. Kem Sokha is the president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) who was charged of defaming the government in connection with a banner displayed at the International Human Rights Day.

Phnom Penh Municipal court's investigative judge Sao Meach denied the appeal for bond saying Mr. Kem Sokha might break the bond and run away.

Mr. Som says that this refusal is not right because it does not specify the crime involved with Mr. Kem Sokha or any felony. He says that his client has a permanent address, a family, and a profession, in addition to a fine of 2 million riels (Khmer currency).

The court of appeals officials say they have not received any letter of appeal yet.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith says that the international community which condemns the government's arrest does not understand the situation in Cambodia.

Mr. Yeng Virak's lawyer, plans to appeal for his client too. Mr Yeng is Community Legal Education Center's director, and is also imprisoned.

Human Rights Watch, the U.S. State Department, and IRI condemn the government's arrests of human rights activists saying it is a step backward in democracy.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith dismisses these allegations.

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