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Cambodian activist, Yorm Bopha, sends message of thanks following release on bail

martes 26 noviembre 2013 - 12:00am

Cambodian land rights activist and protest-song writer Yorm Bopha was released on bail on 22 November 2013, pending a re-hearing of her case by the Court of Appeal. Bopha was arrested on 4 September 2012, and subsequently convicted of “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances” under Article 218 of the Cambodian Criminal Code on 27 December 2012. PEN International campaigned for her immediate and unconditional release – asking the public to send letters of appeal to Cambodian authorities, calling for her release and encouraging people to send messages of solidarity and pens to Bopha and her fellow prisoners so that they could continue their education and writing.

While in prison, Bopha continued her activism, organising and defending her own and fellow prisoners’ rights. She wrote songs of protest, which were sung at demonstrations and chronicled her daily experiences for future publication.

Yorm Bopha has sent a message of thanks to all those who campaigned for her release:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to thanks to all NGOs for your supports, encouragement and help to find the justice for me as well as my community. I would like to pray and say thanks to all communities and NGOs that help to find the justice for me. Now I feel very excited of seeing support from our Khmer people. I would like to thanks many of those who are live inside and outside Cambodia that help to find justice. Even though I still don’t get the justice, I congratulate for the release, but I am still not happy and feel sorry because the Supreme Court didn’t give justice to me fully. They put me in the jail for over one year, but they still didn’t find the justice for me. They send my case back to Appeal Court. So I still need to struggle and protest, because I afraid that it will be the same case as Born Samnang and Sok Sameoun, arrested them, released then arrested them again. I am strongly worry about that. But I believe that all the community people, National and International NGOs, both people who live inside and outside Cambodia will continue to observe my community and my case as well as the injustice activities in the whole country. Cambodia doesn’t respect Human Rights and Democracy fully. I would like national and international NGOs to continue to observe my case because there is no justice for me yet. They still move my case to Appeal Court. As I am the land activist who have been protested. So this is like tie me, and not allows me to join to advocate for my community and other people that face injustice in Cambodian society.

PEN International will continue to campaign to have all charges against Yorm Bopha dropped and to ensure that she does not face imprisonment. To join our recent action for Bopha click here.