The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld charges against housing activist Yorm Bopha, who is serving a three-year sentence in what supporters say is a threat against the freedom of assembly. Yorm Bopha, 29, is serving a three-year sentence on charges related to violent demonstrations over a development project in the Boeung Kak neighborhood of Phnom Penh, which has displaced some 4,000 families. Amnesty International called the charges against her “fabricated” and lacking credible evidence. More than 100 supporters demonstrated outside the court building, including her mother, who wept and cursed the court. (Heng Reaksmey/Say Mony, Phnom Penh)
Kem Sokha, head of the opposition Human Rights Party, is seeking support from Cambodian workers in South Korea ahead of July's national polls. More than 1,000 workers welcomed Kem Sokha to Soul last weekend, providing financial support as the opposition prepares for the parliamentary elections. In a Skype interview with VOA Khmer Sok Khemara, Kem Sokha said he hoped to update the thousands of Cambodian workers in South Korea on Cambodian politics.
A new documentary from New Zealand, "Brother Number One," tells the story of the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge killing of a yachtsman named Rob Hamill, one of the few foreigners to wind up in the Tuol Sleng torture center of the regime. VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng reports on the film, which screened recently in Washington.
VOA Khmer’s Men Kimseng interviews Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando, who was released from prison Friday after serving eight months in prison, on charges that he says were politically motivated and without evidence. He was accused of fomenting a secessionist movement in Kratie province last year, but rights groups say the charges from the court came only after he publicly criticized Hun Sen. Mam Sonando told VOA Khmer in an interview his freedom was a small thing, but that he would continue broadcasting news to Cambodians and would continue his work with the Association of Democrats, a civic group he says aims at informing people about rights and democracy. He is not planning on joining any political parties, despite broad support from the public. On his release from prison Friday, supporters outside the jail chanted, “hero,” after the courts accused him of stirring a secessionist movement last year. The Appeals Court on Thursday said it was dropping some of the most serious charges against him, but it gave him a five-year suspended sentence on charges related to deforestation that were added by the prosecutor. His lawyer says he will appeal this new sentence.
The owner of Beehive Radio was released from prison on Friday, ending eight months of incarceration. Mam Sonando told VOA Khmer in an interview his freedom was a small thing, but that he would continue broadcasting news to Cambodians and would continue his work with the Association of Democrats, a civic group he says aims at informing people about rights and democracy. He is not planning on joining any political parties, he said, despite broad support from the public. On his release from prison Friday, supporters outside the jail called him a “hero.” VOA Khmer's Say Mony reports from Phnom Penh.
The parents of some 300 students in Kampong Cham province are calling for the release of jailed Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando, who had been raising funds to build a school in their village before his arrest in July. Mam Sonando, 71, owns Beehive Radio, which broadcasts Voice of America programming, and is the head of a civic group called the Association of Democrats. He is widely considered innocent of charges related to fomenting a secessionist movement in Kratie province last year, charges that rights groups say came only after he publicly criticized Prime Minister Hun Sen. (Sok Khemera, VOA Khmer)