Human Rights

Supporters of Jailed Activist Petition Royal Family for Help

Yorm Bopha's mother lied down on the street on Wednesday morning March 27, 2013 to protest for the release of her jailed daughter.
Yorm Bopha's mother lied down on the street on Wednesday morning March 27, 2013 to protest for the release of her jailed daughter.
Heng Reaksmey
Housing rights activists on Friday submitted a letter to the royal family, requesting intervention in the detention of Yorm Bopha, a woman who is serving three years on charges related to violent demonstrations against forced evictions.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that she would not be released on bail, as she continues to appeal the verdict against her.

A royal official accepted the petition, meant for King Norodom Sihamoni and the Queen Mother Norodom Monineath, as supporters gathered in front of the Royal Palace. In the document, activists say Yorm Bopha was not guilty of an alleged assault in August 2012.

She was found guilty in December 2012 of “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances,” charges that Amnesty International has said were fabricated in an apparent attempt by authorities to curtail ongoing housing and land demonstrations in the capital.

Activists outside the place wore photographs of Yorm Bopha, 29, as hats or on T-shirts, and called on the king and his mother to help them.

Demonstrator Srun Srey Leap, who was evicted from the Boeung Kak lake development project, along with thousands of others, said she believed the royal family could influence the government to help in Yorm Bopha’s release.

Am Sam Ath, monitoring supervisor for the rights group Licadho, said the protesters had run out of options and have already appealed to every government institution possible.
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Hundreds of activists demonstrated in Phnom Penh on Thursday, gathering to protest the government’s failure to fulfill the promises of the Paris Peace Accords, which were signed in 1991 and brought liberal democracy and a constitution to a country that had been shattered by war. The demonstrators submitted a petition to the US and other embassies, calling for international pressure on the Cambodian government to follow the accords. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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