Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After five years, case against Boeung Kak activists has trial date



After five years, case against Boeung Kak activists has trial date

Detained Boeung Kak community activists Kong Chantha (left) and Bo Chhorvy are escorted to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh in 2015.
Detained Boeung Kak community activists Kong Chantha (left) and Bo Chhorvy are escorted to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh in 2015. Hong Menea

After five years, case against Boeung Kak activists has trial date

Four Boeung Kak lake activists, including recently jailed community leader Tep Vanny, will face trial next month for a five-year-old case of insulting and obstructing public officials during a 2011 protest at City Hall.

The four activists – Kong Chantha, Bo Chhorvy, Heng Mom and Vanny – were charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in November 2011 under articles 502 and 504 of the Criminal Code, but later released on bail following a protest demanding a resolution to their land dispute.

Sam Sokunthea, the activists’ lawyer, confirmed that her clients will front court on September 19, but refused to comment further as she did not want it to influence an appeal of Vanny’s pre-trial detention in a separate case.

Vanny is facing an investigation into her alleged role in a protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in 2013 to demand the release of fellow activist Yorm Bopha.

Chantha said that apart from being summonsed by the court once, the activists had never been notified of the case’s progress. “But no one called me to a hearing [before this]. I don’t understand if they want to arrest us or want to put pressure on Tep Vanny,” she said.

Insulting a public official can be punishable by one to six days in prison, whereas obstructing an official is punishable by six months to a year in prison.

Licadho’s technical coordinator Am Sam Ath said digging up an all-but-forgotten case only illustrated the government’s targeting of the activists, who have been at the forefront of the civil society-backed Black Monday campaign, which seeks the release of jailed human rights officials.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants