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Yorm Bopha

Yorm Bopha

HRD

In a prison cell that was 4m by 15m there were more that 100 prisoners. When we slept we had to sleep standing up, we could not stretch ourselves.

Yorm Bopha has been actively involved in a community struggle against forced eviction at Boeng Kak which is ongoing since 2007. When thirteen of her fellow activists (the Boeng Kak 13) were charged and imprisoned on 24 May 2012, the human rights defender emerged at the forefront of the campaign for their release. The human rights defender says she has been targeted by the police ever since, and has even been told that she is 'on the blacklist'.

The Cambodian authorities use legislation and the judicial system, and threats of arrest or legal action, to restrict free speech, jail government critics, and disperse workers, trade union representatives and farmers engaging in peaceful assembly. The authorities routinely forcibly and often violently disperse public protests. HRDs who work to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights are particularly at risk of persecution, and trade union leaders have been subjected to extra-judicial executions. Community activists defending the right to housing and protesting against land grabs and forced evictions have faced fabricated charges and jail terms. Journalists who criticise the government face serious charges, lengthy trials, imprisonment and violence.