Tep Vanny Awaits Appeal VerdictPublished on July 27, 2017
The conviction of land rights activist Tep Vanny over her participation in a peaceful protest was considered by the Court of Appeal today as supporters protested outside almost a year after she was first detained. No plaintiffs or prosecution witnesses were present at the hearing, preventing cross-examination and – as in the first instance trial in February – no credible evidence was presented.
At a 2013 protest in Phnom Penh – over the jailing of another activist – para-police brutally beat and injured Vanny and other protestors. Nonetheless, she was convicted on 23 February 2017 for “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances” in a trial which fell far short of acceptable legal standards, including a lack of cross-examination of the plaintiffs (security guards known as para-police).
The appeal seeks to overturn a two years and six months’ sentence as well as fines and compensation to the plaintiffs amounting to 14 million riel ($3,500). Since her arrest on 15 August 2016, Tep Vanny has spent 346 days in detention. A verdict will be announced on 8 August 2017.