Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vanny: Prison no different from animals locked in cage

Vanny: Prison no different from animals locked in cage

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Boeung Kak land activist Tep Vanny is shown after her release from prison earlier this week. Pha Lina

Vanny: Prison no different from animals locked in cage

Boeung Kak community land activist Tep Vanny on Tuesday expressed her frustration with her just-ended two-year imprisonment.

Vanny said she and other land activists never wanted to participate in any protests in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s private residence or any state institutions.

“I never thought they would do that to me. It was unexpected that this [land dispute] development led to me receiving unfair prison sentences. It separated me from my family, my parents and my children.

“I was imprisoned for two years and five days, and unexpectedly, because of these developments.

“Staying in prison is no different from an animal locked up in a cage, which means I was in a cage. I saw the prison ceiling, prison bars, prison locks – there were four to five locks from the prison cell to the outside.

“I was in extreme shock. I didn’t do anything wrong. Why did they imprison me?” she asked.

Vanny said with no money left after being released, she was unsure how she would sustain her livelihood.

“Some people think I’m rich. They think I was paid to do what I did. We are innocent. If we don’t help each other we will not succeed. At my old house, the ceiling is leaking.”

‘Couldn’t sleep’

Vanny was released on Monday night after receiving a royal pardon at the request of Prime Minister-designate Hun Sen.

Phan Chhun Reth, another Boeung Kak community land activist, is among the 4,552 families who have been affected by development.

“Last night I was so happy because Vanny was released. I couldn’t sleep the whole night.

“The authority has not solved my case yet. They said my house is located on [Phnom Penh] City Hall’s land. When I built my home, it was not on the whole land,” he said.

Chhun Reth said her house measures 236 square metres, but the authority grants her only 140 square metres.

Vanny and Chhun Reth urged the new government to quickly find a solution for them.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the