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Rights Worker Released After Two Years in Prison

  • Kong Sothanarith
  • VOA Khmer

Rights workers have voiced growing concern over the abuse of criminal defamation and incitement laws to persecute rights workers and journalists.

Rights workers have voiced growing concern over the abuse of criminal defamation and incitement laws to persecute rights workers and journalists.

An activist for the prominent rights group Licadho was released from Kandal provincial prison Wednesday, having served two years of detention on charges of defamation and incitement.

Leang Sok Choeun was sentenced alongside two other men for reportedly distributing anti-government leaflets in the province outside Phnom Penh in 2009.

The leaflets decried the Vietnamese occupation after January 1979 and were critical of ruling party leaders Hun Sen, Heng Samrin and Chea Sim.

“I am very happy today,” Leang Sok Choeun, 30, told reporters and supporters gathered outside the prison. “But I regret that I did nothing wrong and still the court unjustly condemned me.”

Rights workers have voiced growing concern over the abuse of criminal defamation and incitement laws to persecute rights workers and journalists.

Pung Chhiv Kek, Licadho’s founder, said Wednesday she hoped in the future there would “not be this kind of injustice.”

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