A mother and her 8-month-old daughter held in prison for allegations of illegal land clearing were released on bail by Preah Vihear Provincial Court due to health concerns for the two.
Lem Sokhem, 45, and her husband, Sorn Vuthy, 46, were arrested on January 13, after Preah Vihear’s provincial Forestry Administration lodged a court complaint against the couple for allegedly clearing state land, where they lived illegally, deputy prosecutor Ly Lon said yesterday.
The court released Sokhem and her daughter, because Sokhem suffers from an undisclosed illness, for which she requires regular injections, and her daughter is suffering from measles, Lon said. Vuthy remains in provincial prison, because the court fears he could interfere with the court’s investigation. The temporary release of Sokhem and her daughter was welcomed by rights group Adhoc, which is still lobbying for Vuthy’s release.
“We ask the Court of Appeal prosecutor to help free [Sokhem’s] husband,” said Lor Chan, a provincial Adhoc coordinator.
Adhoc considers the arrests a violation of human rights, which could have a chilling effect on activists.