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New petition for Vanny’s release

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Boeung Kak villagers, who are still locked in a land dispute with City Hall, have petitioned for the release of jailed activist Tep Vanny. Supplied

A group of Boeung Kak villagers yesterday submitted a petition to City Hall calling for activist Tep Vanny to be released from prison and for an expedited solution to their land dispute case.

Song Sreyleap, a representative of 100 villagers who put their thumbprints on the petition, said they wanted City Hall to withdraw its legal complaint against Ms Vanny, because she was innocent.

Ms Vanny is currently serving two and a half years in prison for allegedly perpetrating violence against security guards near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house.

During the incident, Ms Vanny and other women from the Boeung Kak community tried to deliver a petition about their land dispute to Mr Hun Sen, but violence broke out with security guards and multiple protesters suffered injuries.

“We went to the residence of Samdech Hun Sen seeking intervention from him to end the dispute in Boeung Kak. We did nothing wrong, so we would like City Hall to withdraw its complaint against Ms Vanny so that she can be reunited with her family,” Ms Sreyleap said.

The villagers said they also wanted City Hall to resolve outstanding issues in their dispute, so that they can be issued with legal land titles.

City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said the case of Ms Vanny was in the hands of the courts, so the petition should have been delivered to the judiciary instead.

“They would have been better off contacting the court,” he said. Regarding the resolution of the land dispute, Mr Meas Pheakdey said that City Hall never ignored its duties.

However, he said that some of the Boeung Kak cases were complicated by internal disputes, which made them hard for officials to solve.

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