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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Despite the continuous pressure by the communities and NGOs, the Cambodian judicial system has done it again. After over two months under unjustified pre-trial detention, Yorm Bopha and Tim Sakmony  were denied bail at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh yesterday.

After having her house destroyed by the development company and being forcedly evicted a few months ago, Tim Sakmony was denied bail on grounds of not having a ‘proper house’ and for ‘disrupting public order’. On the other hand, Yorm Bopha, was denied bail for not having proper documentation proving her health problems.

Outside the court, and from early hours of the morning, members of the communities gathered to show their support and demand Bopha’s and Sokmany’s immediate release. Once again, police barricades blocked the roads to control the crowds.

After learning the court’s decision, the crowd marched to the Royal Palace to pray their King for help on their case. Unable to demand anything else, protesters headed to the U.S. Embassy where with posters and banners they congratulated Mr. Obama on his win, and begged for his intervention on their case.

Community members have often made a point on how the International Community impacts the decisions made in their country, and the accountability of foreign donors on programs found related to land grabbing and other human rights violations.

Not too long after their arrival at the embassy, an impressive display of around 100 riot police showed up giving protesters 15 minutes to disperse.

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Yorm Bopha and Toem Sakmony arrive at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh after over 2 months in detention. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

Nget Khun, 72, a Boeung Kak protester stands in front of the police barricade in support of imprisoned Bopha and Sakmony near the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

Boeung Kak and Norei Keila communities protest in front of police barricades in support of imprisoned Bopha and Sakmony near the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

Tep Vanny, one of the most prominent Boeung Kak protesters, shouts demanding Bopha and Sakmony’s release after over 2 months of their detention. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

Supporters of Bopha and Sakmony clash with the police while waiting on the court’s decision. The two women have been under pre-trial detention for over two months. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Supporters of Bopha and Sakmony clash with the police while waiting on the court’s decision. The two women have been under pre-trial detention for over two months. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Supporters of Bopha and Sakmony clash with the police while waiting on the court’s decision. The two women have been under pre-trial detention for over two months. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Yorm Bopha’s husband at a protest in front of the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh. Yorn Bopha and Toem Sakmony have been under pre-trial detention for over two months. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Heng Mom, a prominent Boeung Kak protester, cries for justice after finding out Bopha and Sakmony’s bail have been denied by the court. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

Tep Vanny, who will receive in Washington D.C. the 2013 Global Leadership Award for her work to ‘strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights’, protests against Bopha’s imprisonment in front of the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Heng Mom, a prominent Boeung Kak protester, begs for justice after finding out Bopha and Sakmony’s bail have been denied by the court. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Erika Pineros 2012

 

A woman lays on the road in tears as she learns the Bopha’s and Sakmony’s bail have been denied by the court Phnom Penh. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

Supporters of Bopha and Sakmony pray in front of the U.S Embassy, congratulating Obama on his reelection, as well as begin for his intervention on their case. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

An impressive display of riot police was used to disperse the peaceful protest in front of the U.S embassy. ©Erika Pineros 2012

 

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