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People march for land activists release

More than 60 people yesterday rallied at the National Assembly, the UN Human Rights Office, the Danish Embassy and the German Embassy as part of a petition campaign to seek the release of two jailed women from the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila communities.

Villagers and their children used yesterday’s Constitution Day holiday to finish submitting petitions calling for several foreign entities in Phnom Penh to intervene on behalf of Borei Keila’s Tim Sakmony and Boeung Kak’s Yorm Bopha, Borei Keila representative Brack Sopha said yesterday.

Their supporters claim the two women have been unfairly targeted for their land activism.

The authorities, however, have said Bopha’s charge of causing intentional violence and Sakmony’s of making a false declaration, are unrelated to their protesting.

The women, arrested earlier this month, are in pre-trial detention in Prey Sar prison.

“I hope the embassies will help us,” Sopha said. “We have stopped believing in the authorities because we asked them for help many times, but they did not pay attention.”

The UN Human Rights Office and the Danish and Germany embassies’ representatives yesterday accepted the villagers’ petitions but said they could not promise to find solutions for them.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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