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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    29 June 2012

Cambodian court frees 13 female protestors


About 500 supporters gathered at Prey Sor Prison in Cambodia yesterday to welcome 13 female convicts who were being released after getting their prison sentences reduced.

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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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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