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Boeung Kak land activists to face court

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The case reaches back to 2011 and involves four prominent activists. Supplied

Four Boeung Kak land rights activists will stand in front of the Supreme Court today to appeal against accusations they insulted and obstructed public officials under aggravating circumstances in 2011.

Tep Vanny, Heng Mom, Kong Chantha and Bo Chhorvy were in September 2016 sentenced by the Municipal Court to six months’ imprisonment, suspended except in the case of Ms Vanny.

Ms Vanny was sentenced to an additional two years for allegedly attacking security guards in 2013.

Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, the activists’ lawyers filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ms Chhorvy said herself and the other activists would attend the hearing following a summons, expecting the court to render justice by dropping all charges.

“We did not insult the public officials, we are fully innocent, so I expect the court to give us justice,” she said.

Residents of the Boeung Kak community in August asked UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith and Asean embassies to campaign for the release of Ms Vanny, who has been imprisoned for more than one year.

Ms Vanny was arrested in August 2016 while she and the Boeung Kak community conducted a “Black Monday campaign” against mass evictions in their neighbourhood.

She was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment for using violence against Daun Penh security guards near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in March 2013, in addition to allegedly insulting and obstructing public officials in 2011.

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