Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Village rep to be freed on bail, if protests stop

Village rep to be freed on bail, if protests stop

Village rep to be freed on bail, if protests stop

Koh Kong Provincial Court told Kiri Sakor district villagers yesterday that their jailed community leader, for whose release they have been protesting for more than a week, will be granted bail on the condition that they cease their demonstrations.

On October 27, the court detained community representative Phorn Noland and charged him with theft of materials belonging to the Koh Kong Special Economic Zone (SEZ), owned by tycoon and ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat. About 135 families from the area have been embroiled in a dispute with the SEZ over land in the district.

After Nol’s detention, some 100 people, including protesters from the Boeung Kak lake community in Phnom Penh, erected tents in front of the court and have been demonstrating for nearly 10 days.

According to village representative Roeun Rom, judge Kham Sophary accepted the bail and said that Nol will be released next Monday if the villagers and their supporters break up the protest.

Rom, however, said that they would only stop protesting once Nol is released.

“Provided that Phorn Nol is released, we will demolish the tents immediately and we will look for other ways to protest the land dispute,” Rom said.

The court rejected Nol’s bail request on Tuesday but due to intervention from provincial governor Pen Bon Chhouy, the request was resubmitted, said Neang Boratino, of rights group Adhoc, which provided Nol with a lawyer.

Boratino called Nol’s planned release a tense impasse between the people and the court.

“We would like the court and authorities to drop charges or not detain people in land disputes, because protesters also have other priorities,” he said.

Judge Sophary declined to comment on the case.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all