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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Two people were killed and several injured when a building’s ceiling collapsed at Wing Star Factory in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh. The shoe factory is one of the suppliers of the Japanese brand Asics.

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Land and human rights activist Tep Vanny started her journey yesterday to Washington D.C where she will receive the Vital Voices Global Leadership in Public Life Award.
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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Four days after human rights defender and journalist Mam Sonando was released, co-defendants Touch Ream, Khan Sovann and Phorn Sreoun were also released from prison.

The four men who still claim to be innocent, were sentenced last year on insurrection charges after a land-grab related incident in Kratie, which led to the death of a 14 year-old girl. Sonando, Ream, Sovann and Sreoun carried 20 years, five years, three years and 10 months sentences respectively. However, on March 14, the Appeal Court reduced Ream’s and Sovann’s sentences, and announced radical changes to Sonando’s offenses and a reduction of his sentence to time served.
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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Human rights activist Mam Sonando was released after months in prison. He was sentenced in 2012 to 20 years on insurrection charges, after his appeal, the court announced changes to his offences and reduced his sentence to time served.

While co-convicted Touch Ream, Khan Sovann and Phorn Sreoun were scheduled to be freed with Sonando, a slower process did not allow their release. Unable to join the celebrations, Ream’s, Sovann’s and Sreoun’s families returned to Human Rights NGO Licadho’s offices to wait for further news on their release.

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Mam Sonando, along with Touch Ream and Khan Sovann are expected to be freed from jail on Friday 15th March after the court announced changes to Sonando’s offenses, and reduced sentences to time served for all.

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Land and human rights activists marched the streets of  Phnom Penh to celebrate the International Women’s Day. A minute’s silence was observed for Boeung Kak’s Chea Dara, who committed suicide out of desperation over being forcibly evicted and for Yorm Bopha’s 185th day in prison.

Meanwhile, men showed their support by preparing food and organizing the event back at Boeung Kak community.

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

71 year-old journalist and owner of Beehive Radio Mam Sonando, and co-convicted Touch Ream and Khan Sovann appeal last year’s court sentence at the Appeal Court.

While hundreds of demonstrators outside the Appeal Court shouted for justice and their immediate release, families of the convicted waited patiently outside the room. Having been in prison since one of his daughters was only a couple of months old, Touch Ream was able to spend some family time while in court.

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CAMBODIA

This post aims to pay homage to those who risk their lives and leave everything behind – including their own families – to defend their most basic rights. A summary of some of the 2012 Human & Land rights related events in Cambodia – part of my long term project on land rights and housing conditions.

Through this project, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the most amazing and inspiring people. I have also had the chance to witness staggering moments of joy, despair and frustration.

I truly hope 2013 brings some better news for those millions of people around the world whose basic rights have been undermined.

Happy 2013

 

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Boeung Kak, Borei Kaila and Thmar Kaul communities  have – once again – united to protest against Yorn Bopha’s three-year prison sentence. The villagers gathered for the last time this year in front of the Municipal Court to curse officials and ask for justice.

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

In another effort to get their cases heard, Human & Land Rights activists gathered in from of the National Assembly to dance the popular song Gangnam Style, and deliver a petition of over 11,000 signatures collected on t-shirts and kromas.
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