Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High court appeal for Boeung Kak 13

High court appeal for Boeung Kak 13

High court appeal for Boeung Kak 13

People affected by Shukaku Inc’s controversial development project at Boeung Kak lake hold a demonstration yesterday in front of the US embassy in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

Thirteen Boeung Kak lake women imprisoned after a three-hour trial in May and released last month had appealed their guilty convictions to the Supreme Court, their lawyer said yesterday.

“They told us they are completely dissatisfied with the verdict of the Appeal Court, which maintained the accusations of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court,” Ham Sunrith told the Post.

“We will try to take this to the Supreme Court to demand justice for these 13 women,” he said, adding an appeal was filed on Friday.

The women were arrested at Boeung Kak lake during a land protest on May 22.

They were charged two days later with occupying state land and obstructing public officials in aggravating circumstances and were tried, convicted and sentenced in three hours in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to two and a half years in Prey Sar prison.

After widespread condemnation of the trial, the Court of Appeal reduced the women’s sentences on June 27 to time already served, but upheld the guilty verdicts.

The court said the women had helped villagers “rebuild” their houses on state land, which has been awarded to CPP senator Lao Meng Khin’s Shukaku company, but released them because many of them had children and were unaware of the law.

Tol Srey Pov, one of the 13, said the women had not been involved in any violent activity, such as using weapons or throwing rocks at police.

“We think the Appeal Court didn’t give us [justice]. We didn’t commit these crimes,” she said, adding that they were grateful for their release, but wanted their names cleared.

Sam Rainsy lawmaker Mu Sochua, who said in the wake of the women’s release that the guilty verdicts meant nothing, said yesterday it was important that they be overturned.

“What needs to be done more to the Boeung Kak lake issue is the full return of their land and all charges against them must be dropped,” she said.

Sia Phearum, secretariat-general of the Housing Rights Task Force, said it was time for the authorities to demarcate land at Boeung Kak to resolve the dispute.

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


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which