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Court of Appeal Upholds Tep Vanny Conviction

Published on August 8, 2017

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Supporters of Tep Vanny gather outside the Court of Appeal

This morning the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence of land rights activist Tep Vanny on a years-old charge which was reactivated following her participation in the peaceful "Black Monday" campaign last year. Today’s verdict follows an appeal hearing on 27 July in which no plaintiffs were present, preventing cross-examination and – as in the first instance trial in February – no credible evidence was presented by the prosecution.

The appeal attempted to overturn her conviction by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 23 February 2017 for “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances” in a trial which fell far short of acceptable legal standards. The case itself relates to a 2013 protest in Phnom Penh – over the jailing of another activist – where para-police brutally beat and injured Vanny and other protesters.

Today’s verdict upholds Tep Vanny’s 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 358 days in detention.