Supreme Court Hears Appeals From Six Jailed Government Critics

Source: Cambodia Daily

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Jailed activist Tep Vanny enters the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard appeals from six of those who human rights groups Licadho says are 26 political prisoners in the country’s jails. It is expected to hand down decisions in the cases of five CNRP officials and the country’s most prominent land rights activist on Wednesday.

Tep Vanny, who was arrested while cursing municipal Continue reading

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‘Black Monday’ Campaign Continues as Hun Sen Moves Against Opposition

Source: VOA

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Protestors from communities suffered from land rights dispute gathered at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, calling for the release of Tep Vanny, a leading land right activist in the Boeng Kak lake area. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)

Hun Sen has accused the opposition of trying to use the rule to argue for the release of the prisoners, which he said was a violation of the separation of powers.

Protesters once again took to the streets this week as party of the Black Monday Campaign to call for the release of “political prisoners” who they said were being held hostage by the state.

The campaign, launched in mid-2016 after the arrests of Continue reading

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Court conducts hearing for jailed activists

Source: Khmer Times

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Protestors calling for the release of the CNRP activists. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Supreme Court yesterday heard appeals of five out of 11 opposition activists jailed after violence at an opposition protest in July 2014 at Freedom Park.

Meach Sovannara, a Cambodian-American and head of the CNRP’s information and media department, and 10 other activists were convicted of leading and participating in an insurrection at the July 15, 2014 demonstration that led to a clash between activists and Daun Penh district security guards.

They were sentenced to between seven and 20 years’ imprisonment.

The Appeal Court previously decided to hear separately two complaints – an appeal to annul municipal court proceedings and an appeal against their conviction – for six of the accused only. The five others were not considered.

At the more than two-hour hearing yesterday, the five claimed similarly that they had been sentenced in violation of procedures as their defense lawyers were absent during the hearing at the time. The 11 accused had been defended by two different groups of lawyers.

No differently from the past, Mr. Sovannara called the conviction against him and the other opposition activists a political game in which politicians were violating the court’s jurisdiction.

“This political matter can be solved by politics only. I would like the court to add us in this appeal to annul court proceedings, review the wrong implementation of court procedures and drop the charges,” he said.

Supreme Court presiding judge Seong Panhavuth said that the lawyers of the five accused did not present clearly their complaint in appeal municipal court proceedings, which resulted in the Appeal Court only making a decision on the six.

However, he added that he would check on their request and planned to announce a decision on Wednesday.

After the hearing, defense lawyer for the five accused Choung Chou Ngy showed the complaint documents to reporters which he submitted to the chamber on August 7, 2015. He said it was the chamber’s fault for not noting the complaint clearly which led to their decision.

“We filed the complaint clearly, but the court said there was no appeal on annulment procedures. It is their fault. This case was sentenced by the court in clear violation of procedures and the Supreme Court should consider this,” he said.

The violence near Freedom Park on July 15, 2014, resulted in injuries to 39 security guards and 10 protesters, including five security guards who were seriously injured.

Later, the 39 security guards each sued for between $5,000 and $10,000 in damages. Besides convicting and sentencing the 11 CNRP activists, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court also ordered them to compensate the 39 guards.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday also conducted the bail request hearing of Boeung Kak land activist Tep Vanny relating to violence that occurred near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in 2013 when she and other activists demanded a resolution to the Boeung Kak area land dispute.

After the closed-door hearing ended, the presiding judge postponed announcement of the verdict until Wednesday.

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Cambodia’s water people pushed out of Phnom Penh sewer for billion-dollar ING City

Source: ABC News

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Photo: Srey Neuk, 44, works in the ever-shrinking waters of Boeung Tompun. (ABC News: Athena Zelandonii)

Setting out in the early morning, Sok Pov paddles her canoe across Phnom Penh’s sewage as she heads to work.

For decades, the vast lakes and wetlands fringing Cambodia’s capital have been home to thousands of people making a living from the water — fishing and harvesting vegetables for market.

Now they face eviction, as politically well-connected land speculators push them out.

“If they fill in the lakes I am not sure where we will go,” says Pov as she works along the ropes strung on the water’s surface, cutting mimosa and morning glory.

Pov first started making her living here a decade ago, Continue reading

Posted in Boeung Kak, Development, Forced Eviction, Human Right, Land Dispute, Land Title, news articles

Back in black

Source: Phnom Penh Post

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Protestors campaign on Black Monday in the Boeung Kak community with banners portraying detained officials demanding their release. Pha Lina

 

After halting for two weeks, Boeung Kak community activists yesterday made a comeback with their ‘Black Monday’ protests, saying they had lost trust in political leaders to ensure the timely release of five activists jailed on charges widely perceived to be politically motivated.
Continue reading

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‘Black Monday’ Activists Ready to Take to the Streets, Campaigners Say

Source: VOA

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Protesters lighted incense, praying for a resolution of their land dispute fight at Preah Ang Dongker in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, January 9, 2017. (Photo: Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)

Research by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights suggests Black Monday activists were arrested 33 times last year.

Activists from Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak lake area who organized the so-called ‘Black Monday’ protests last year have said they will restart the banned marches following a court decision not to release several jailed rights workers.
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Activists call for Vanny’s release

Source: Phnom Penh Post

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Kak submits petition to Justice Ministry to release Tep Vanny yesterday. Photo supplied.

 

Land activists yesterday submitted a petition to Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana asking for his intervention in the case of Tep Vanny, who is in pre-trial detention for her alleged role in a 2013 protest.
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