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Boeung Kak women on hunger strike

Boeung Kak women on hunger strike

Four Boeung Kak women convicted to two-and-a-half years in Prey Sar prison went on a hunger strike yesterday as their husbands and children led a 200-strong rally outside, the husband of imprisoned village representative Tep Vanny told the Post.

Ou Kong Chea said he had received a telephone call from Kong Chantha, one of 15 Boeung Kak villagers in Prey Sar, telling him that his wife and three others began refusing food yesterday morning to protest against their three-hour trial and conviction on March 24.

“She said herself and my wife Tep Vanny, Mrs Chheng Leap and Mrs Song Sreyleap were making a hunger strike in response to us supporting them,” he said.

“However, my family and I are very worried when we heard that. I told them to stop doing that and to take care of their health, because we are trying to find intervention so they can be freed from jail.”

Housing Rights Task Force communications official Long Kim Heang had heard a similar report and said everyone at her organisation was “concerned about their health”.

A crowd of about 200 people, which included husbands and children of the imprisoned villagers, civil society representatives and other supporters gathered outside the prison to call for the prison to release the 15 Boeung Kak activists.

The 13 women were convicted of disputing authority and occupying land awarded to CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin’s Shukaku company.

Ly Chanary and Sao Sareoun, the group’s only man, were arrested outside the women’s trial and face the same charges.

They too are in Prey Sar.

Heng Sreyleak, 13, daughter of the imprisoned Heng Mom, said the municipal court had jailed the villagers unjustly.

“I think my mother and all villagers are completely free of guilt,” she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at [email protected]

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