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EU slams appeal court’s upholding of convictions

The European Union has expressed disappointment that 11 protesters linked to the Boeung Kak land community had their convictions upheld at the Appeal Court on Monday.

The EU Delegation to Cambodia said in a statement on Wednesday that slightly reduced sentences for most of the accused “still appear to be disproportionately severe in relation to the charges laid against the protesters.”

Seven of the 11 were swiftly sentenced in November after they dragged a bed onto Monivong Boulevard to protest authorities’ lack of action to ease flooding at their homes.

The other four were arrested outside the Phnom Penh court while protesting for their release. The EU added that the case “is seen as politically driven”, echoing recent comments made by departing UN rights envoy Surya Subedi and visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel.

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