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'Boeung Kak 13' to be released

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Thirteen Boeung Kak villagers leave the Appeal Court after a ruling this morning. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

The 13 Boeung Kak women imprisoned after a three-hour trial last month will be released today, the Court of Appeal announced after a hearing this morning.

A panel of three judges upheld the two charges against the women, declaring they were still guilty of occupying state land and obstructing public officials in aggravating circumstances, but reduced their sentences from two and a half years to one month and three days – the length of time they have already served in Prey Sar prison.

Scenes of jubilation followed as supporters of the 13 women danced and sang in the streets; however, police clashed with supporters outside the court during the trial and it is alleged that a pregnant woman was kicked in the stomach, causing her to faint.

She was taken to the National Maternal and Child Health Centre and has lost her unborn baby, Khek Chan Raksmei, a friend of the woman, said.

Three children were also said to be injured, while three defence witnesses were reportedly denied entry to the court.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shane Worrell at shane.worrell@phnompenhpost.com
Khouth Sophak Chakrya at sophakchakrya.khouth@phnompenhpost.com

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