ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Cambodian court frees 13 female protestors
The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday to release the women who had served a little more than month of their sentences of up to two and a half years for illegally occupying land and obstructing public officials.
"I thank the Court of Appeal for its decision to free these 13 people," said Pung Chhiv Kek, president of the Cambodia League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (Licadho). "But I am disappointed because they did not do anything wrong and were charged."
The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights condemned the Court of Appeal for failing to overturn the guilty verdicts of 13 women protestors released from prison yesterday.
In a statement, the group said the court's ruling to reduce the sentences of up to two and a half years to one month and three days was "welcomed with scenes of joy as hundreds of demonstrators celebrated."
But "while the immediate result of the verdict is to be welcomed, injustice prevails for as long as the convictions against these women remain."
Ou Virak, the group's president, said the 13 women "remain convicted of crimes as a result of their having taken part in a peaceful demonstration."
The president also said that three supporters, two children and pregnant women, had been injured outside the court Wednesday and that the woman had lost her child.
"The convictions of these women must be overturned and Phnom Penh city hall must act to resolve the Boeung Kak Lake conflict once and for all," Ou Virak.
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