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Activists seek freedom for Vanny, dispute resolutions

Activists hold placards in Phnom Penh yesterday as a petition is delivered to the prime minister’s cabinet.
Activists hold placards in Phnom Penh yesterday as a petition is delivered to the prime minister’s cabinet. Heng Chivoan

Activists seek freedom for Vanny, dispute resolutions

Thirty activists from the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila communities submitted a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet yesterday asking for officials to solve their long-running land disputes, stop using violence when they protest and to free imprisoned activist Tep Vanny.

The activists submitted the three-point petition to Kong Chamroeun, an official in the cabinet, who asked them to file their request about Tep Vanny as a separate petition.

“I will make a new petition, and he asked only one or two of us to submit it [again]. If it is beneficial for Vanny, I will follow the instructions,” said land activist Bov Sophea.

The activists then went to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, where fellow activist Nget Khun, known as “Mummy”, was being questioned for allegedly making death threats and public insults.

The complaint was filed in 2012 by Ly Mom, who was a fellow activist at the time. After a falling out with other activists, Mom filed a complaint accusing Vanny, Heng Mom, Chheng Leap, Kong Chantha, Tol Sreypov and Khun of threatening her life.

“I said I had not cursed or intended to kill,” said the elderly Khun, after the questioning. “It is unfair for me because I am incapable of using violence on others.”

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