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Courting protest

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Protesters call for the release of land activist Tep Vanny. Pha Lina

Courting protest

Prominent land activist Tep Vanny was denied bail by the Supreme Court yesterday, which cited the ongoing investigation into a 2013 protest that turned violent outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in Phnom Penh. Vanny has been in pre-trial detention on charges of intentional violence under aggravating circumstances over the clash with police and district officials.

Presiding judge Kim Sothavy said Vanny could not be released on bail as the lower court’s investigation was still ongoing. Following the hearing, which was accompanied by a protest outside the court, an incredulous Vanny broke down in tears, claiming the court was under the control of a ‘dictatorship’, which is why her bail was denied.

"When will this torture of my life end? If you hate me, then kill me like Kem Ley and don’t let this pain continue," she said from a holding cell as she waited to be taken back to Prey Sar prison. She has been at Prey Sar since August.

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