Cambodia

Housing Activists Stage Demonstration for Women’s Day

Villagers from Boeung Kak lake march through the main street, wearing a portrait of detained Yoam Bopha, Buddhism, poster and flags to mark the World Women's Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, March. 8, 2013. Bopha was arrested by local authorities after her protest over compensation for her loss of her house due to a new luxury housing development. The protesters demanded the release of Bopha. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)Villagers from Boeung Kak lake march through the main street, wearing a portrait of detained Yoam Bopha, Buddhism, poster and flags to mark the World Women's Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, March. 8, 2013. Bopha was arrested by local authorities after her protest over compensation for her loss of her house due to a new luxury housing development. The protesters demanded the release of Bopha. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
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Villagers from Boeung Kak lake march through the main street, wearing a portrait of detained Yoam Bopha, Buddhism, poster and flags to mark the World Women's Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, March. 8, 2013. Bopha was arrested by local authorities after her protest over compensation for her loss of her house due to a new luxury housing development. The protesters demanded the release of Bopha. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Villagers from Boeung Kak lake march through the main street, wearing a portrait of detained Yoam Bopha, Buddhism, poster and flags to mark the World Women's Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, March. 8, 2013. Bopha was arrested by local authorities after her protest over compensation for her loss of her house due to a new luxury housing development. The protesters demanded the release of Bopha. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - More than 300 protesters from the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila forced evictions gathered on Friday, holding a demonstration to mark International Women’s Day and to demand the release of a land activist from jail.

The demonstration moved about the city, as participants called for the release of Yorm Bopha, who was sentenced to three years in jail in December on charges related to violent demonstrations.

“I appeal to the Cambodian government to respect women’s rights and release her,” said Tep Vanny, a leading activist against the Boeung Kak lake development project, which has displaced thousands of families from the Phnom Penh neighborhood.

The land disputes at both Phnom Penh neighborhoods have galvanized a core group of demonstrators—many of them women—that authorities have been unable to reach an agreement with, leading to numerous demonstrations, many of them violent, over the last five years.

No clashes were reported Friday.

Many demonstrators dressed up as prisoners as part of the protest. One of them, Song Srey Leap, said the court system is being used to punish activists.

Song Srey Leap, who is also against the Boeung Kak development, said housing activists are experiencing “all kinds of pressure” to stop demonstrating.
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Land Victim Lawyer Seeks US Support on ICC Casei
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21 January 2015
A petition filed at the International Criminal Court in October 2014 alleged that a group of politicians, security chiefs and business magnates in Cambodia have involved in systematic illegal seizures of land from poor people. They committed various crimes as part of their campaign, which included murder, forcible transfer of populations, illegal imprisonment, persecution, and other inhumane acts, according to Richard Rogers of Global Diligence. VOA Khmer Men Kimseng interviewed Richard Rogers while he was in Washington DC last week to seek international support and explain to Cambodian diaspora community in the US about the case.

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