Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak’s Vanny is released

Boeung Kak’s Vanny is released

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Boeung Kak land dispute activist Tep Vanny is congratulated by supporters following her release from prison on Monday night. fresh news

Boeung Kak’s Vanny is released

Boeung Kak community land activist Tep Vanny was freed from Prey Sar prison on Monday night after a release warrant was issued by Phnom Penh Municipal Court. This followed a Royal Pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni.

Three other Boeung Kak land activists were also released by Royal Pardon on Monday night, which came at the request of prime minister-designate Hun Sen.

The release warrant issued by Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Kuch Kimlong said that Vanny had been sentenced to two years and six months in prison for intentional violence with aggravating circumstances, and had also received a six-month sentence for insulting and disobeying public officials.

“As per the power of the above Royal Decree, Tep Vanny is released . . . released to walk free,” the release warrant stated.

The King’s Royal Decree also pardoned other Boeung Kak activists Heng Mom, Bo Chhorvy and Kong Chantha.

Vanny, 27, was detained by the court on August 15, 2016, and had served more than two years of her sentence.

Fellow Boeung Kak activist Puthi Sak told The Post on Monday night that he hoped the move would help reduce political tensions and that the Cambodian government would continue with such action.

He said: “I think this will help to reduce political tensions, and we, as friends of the victims who were released, are very happy and excited.

“I hope this release will extend to other [jailed] human rights activists in order to ensure peace of mind for all Cambodians.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prominent land rights activist Tep Vanny is escorted by officials at court in Phnom Penh. fresh news

Phan Chhun Reth, another Boeung Kak activist, also expressed her delight at Monday night’s developments, saying: “I am very happy to hear the news of [Vanny’s] release. Now everybody is dancing in the village. Nothing could be happier news than this.”

Am Sam Ath, investigation head at human rights NGO Licadho, said: “I welcome this release after the pardon by Royal Decree, but Tep Vanny was unjustly imprisoned for more than two years after she and the Boeung Kak community had only protested to demand a solution to their land dispute.

“Vanny’s release came after a series of condemnations and demands from the international community and national bodies. I think this development came about because the new government, which will be formed soon, will want to get support from the international community.”

Vanny was serving a 30-month prison sentence for a 2013 protest that turned violent, while also serving a six-month sentence for a separate protest outside City Hall.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led