Land Activists Face Appeal Hearing for 2011 ProtestPublished on February 15, 2017
Boeung Kak Lake representatives Tep Vanny, Bo Chhorvy, Kong Chantha and Heng Mom faced a hearing this morning to appeal convictions handed down to them last September by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in relation to a 2011 protest. Appeal Court judge Nhoung Thol will announce the verdict on 27 February. Neither plaintiff was present at the hearing, preventing cross-examination, and evidence presented was limited.
In their first trial, all four women were found guilty of obstruction of a public official with aggravating circumstances and insult and sentenced to six months' imprisonment. Since then, Tep Vanny has remained in pre-trial detention in CC2 prison – where she has now been for half a year – for separate charges relating to a protest held by Boeung Kak Lake community in 2013 in front of the Prime Minister's house. Bo Chhorvy, Kong Chantha and Heng Mom were not arrested as the sentences will not be enforced until all appeals are exhausted. None of the evidence presented at the original trial or the appeal hearing sufficiently proved the guilt of the four women.
About 40 community members and supporters from land communities and civil society groups gathered outside the court during today's hearing.