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Breaking: Supreme Court upholds Boeung Kak convictions

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Boeung Kak activist Tep Vanny is escorted by officials into the Supreme Court in January this year. Hong Menea

Breaking: Supreme Court upholds Boeung Kak convictions

The Supreme Court today upheld the convictions of three Boeung Kak activists – including Tep Vanny – for allegedly obstructing and insulting public officials during a 2011 demonstration outside Phnom Penh City Hall. Their six month sentences were also upheld.

Vanny, Bo Chhorvy and Kong Chantha were originally sentenced in September 2016, five years after an effort by some 100 community activists to deliver a petition to City Hall grew violent when security forces tried to disperse them. Authorities accused them and another activist, Heng Mom, of attacking and “insulting” security officials.

According to a statement from rights NGO Licadho, neither the plaintiff’s lawyers nor witnesses were present during the appeal process.

“As in earlier court hearings on this case, insufficient evidence was presented to meet the legal standards for proof,” the statement reads.

The statement also notes that no “enforcement order” was issued, meaning Chhorvy and Chantha can be arrested at any time to serve their sentences. Vanny has been in Prey Sar prison since August 2016, and is already serving a 30-month sentence for her alleged role in a demonstration outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house.

Updates to follow.

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