Human Rights

Cambodian Appeals Court Upholds Detention of Land Activists

More than 100 people Boeung Kak lake residents demonstrate in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.More than 100 people Boeung Kak lake residents demonstrate in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
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More than 100 people Boeung Kak lake residents demonstrate in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
More than 100 people Boeung Kak lake residents demonstrate in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Kong Sothanarith
Two land activists from forced evictions in Phnom Penh will not be released on bail as they await trial on incitement charges widely seen as an attack on free speech.

The two women, Yorm Bopha and Tim Sak Mony, were arrested in early September and accused of inciting violence and criminal activity among demonstrators, who have repeatedly gathered to protest forced evictions in two Phnom Penh neighborhoods for the sake of development projects.

They had filed for release from the court, which has angered many demonstrators for perceived bias towards business interests and powerful government officials. Wednesday’s hearing was not open to the public.

After the hearing Tim Sak Mony told reporters the court had “kept the same decision.”

Some 5,000 families have been forcibly evicted in the two neighborhoods—Boeung Kak and Borei Keila—producing a highly organized movement. That has meant continuous protests and clashes with authorities, often violent.

“There is no justice for us,” said Yorm Bohpa after the hearing.

In another hearing, the Appeals Court re-heard the cases of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen, who are accused of murdering labor leader Chea Vichea in 2004 but who are also widely considered innocent. The Supreme Court has ordered the Appeals Court to rehear the case. That verdict is due Nov. 26.
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Protesters Clash With Police Outside Premier’s Homei
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18 August 2014
Hundreds of housing rights protesters and evictees clashed with security forces outside Phnom Penh on Monday, leaving at least nine people with minor injuries. The clash was one of the first since major violence over Freedom Park in the capital in July. Protesters gathered outside the National Assembly Monday morning, hoping to deliver petitions of grievances, but when no one came out to accept the petitions, they decided to march on the suburban home of Prime Minister Hun Sen, in Kratie province, just outside the capital. There, they clashed with security personnel. VOA's Khmer Suy Heimkhemra reports from Phnom Penh.

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