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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal Court rejects activists’ bail request

Appeal Court rejects activists’ bail request

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Land rights activists Tim Sakmony (left) and Yorm Bopha lean against a window at the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Land rights activists Tim Sakmony (left) and Yorm Bopha lean against a window at the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Two land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake and Borei Keila remain in pre-trial detention in Prey Sar prison after the Court of Appeal rejected their applications for bail yesterday.

Boeung Kak woman Yorm Bopha, 29, and Tim Sakmony, 65, a grandmother from Borei Keila, cried as they were led away after judges dismissed their bid for freedom in a brief closed-door hearing.

“I’m not scared, and I still have hope that justice will be served and my innocence will be recognised,” Bopha said.

The two women were arrested within 24 hours of each other in early September.

Authorities charged Bopha with causing intentional violence over the beating of two motodops, while Sakmony was charged with making a false declaration.

Both claim they were targeted for their activism.

Their requests for bail were rejected on the grounds that Bopha’s charge was serious and the homeless Sakmony was a flight risk, their lawyers said.

The two women – prolific protesters – were also deemed threats to public order.

Bopha’s defence insisted she was suffering from a medical problem, but the judges did not take this into consideration, because her legal team did not have medical documents proving it.

More than 200 supporters of the women – who still do not have a trial date – rallied some distance from the court after police placed barricades across Sisowath Quay.

A Post reporter observed police watching on as private security guards clashed with a female protester who had pushed past a barrier.

She fell to the ground after being struck.

“One security guard hit me in the stomach and another man rushed to slap me on the right cheek, causing me pain,” Chhay Kimhorn said.

Long Dimanche, municipal hall spokesman, said he could not confirm whether the security guards had been deployed by the municipality.

The communities later continued protesting at the US embassy but were told by police to disperse or be arrested.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at sophakchakrya.khouth@phnompenhpost.com

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