Flash News

⁠⁠⁠Land activists and balloon sellers detained during peaceful vigil in support for detained fellow activist

Published on September 4, 2016

Six women from Phnom Penh land communities and four balloon sellers are currently being held in Dangkor district police station after their arrest this morning during a gathering outside Prey Sar’s CC2 prison.

About 100 people from land communities and other groups had gathered outside the prison this morning to call for the release of detained human rights defenders, including Boeung Kak Lake community representative Tep Vanny. As the group attempted to gather outside CC2’s gate, police and para-police confiscated balloons. They arrested the ten people - Yeay Mamy from Boeung Kak Lake community; Phoung Sopheap, Meas Sreypao, Sok Raksmey, Kiev Sary and Cheav Sreynich from Thmor Kol community; and balloon seller Seng Thy along with his son, Theoun Phanha, and nephews Poa Vichea and Chum Sobinkeo - before taking them to the police station.

Tep Vanny has been incarcerated in CC2 prison since 17 August. She had been arrested during a Black Monday gathering two days prior, swiftly tried and convicted of ‘insulting a public official’ within a week. She remains in pre-trial detention facing charges of intentional violence relating to a protest in March 2013, as well as further charges of obstructing and insulting a public official relating to protests in 2011. These old cases were reactivated just last week.

The four balloon sellers were released at about 12pm, after about three hours in detention. The six land community members remain detained.