Antécédents de l'affaire: Yorm Bopha
Le 28 juin 2016, la cour d'appel de Phnom Penh a confirmé la condamnation de la défenseuse des droits humains Mme Yorm Bopha lors d'un nouveau procès pour l'attaque présumée de deux conducteurs de moto-taxi le 7 août 2012. Elle a été condamnée à trois ans de prison; elle a déjà purgé 14 mois et 18 jours de cette peine et le reste est une peine avec sursis. Bien qu'elles aient bénéficié de deux ans et demi de plus pour enquêter sur l'affaire, les autorités n'ont présenté aucune preuve tangible reliant Mme Yorm Bopha à l'attaque présumée.
Yorm Bopha est activement impliquée dans une lutte communautaire contre des expulsions forcées à Boeng Kak depuis 2007. Lorsque 13 de ses collègues militants (les 13 de Boeng Kak) ont été accusés et emprisonnés le 24 mai 2012, la défenseuse était en première ligne de la campagne pour leur libération. Depuis elle est prise pour cible par la police. La police lui aurait dit qu'elle est sur "la liste noire".
Le 28 juin 2016, la cour d'appel de Phnom Penh a confirmé la condamnation de la défenseuse des droits humains Mme Yorm Bopha lors d'un nouveau procès pour l'attaque présumée de deux conducteurs de moto-taxi le 7 août 2012. Front Line Defenders a lancé un appel urgent concernant le procès en appel le 5 juin 2013.
Yorm Bopha est activement impliquée dans une lutte communautaire contre des expulsions forcées à Boeng Kak depuis 2007. Lorsque 13 de ses collègues militants (les 13 de Boeng Kak) ont été accusés et emprisonnés le 24 mai 2012, la défenseuse était en première ligne de la campagne pour leur libération. La défenseuse dit être ciblée par la police depuis ce moment là. La police lui aurait dit qu'elle est sur "la liste noire". La défenseuse des droits humains a été arrêtée le 4 septembre 2012 et condamnée à trois ans de prison le 27 décembre 2012 pour "violence volontaire avec circonstances aggravantes". Les accusations sont basées sur l'agression présumée de deux conducteurs de moto-taxi par Yorm Bopha. En novembre 2013, la cour suprême a ordonné un nouveau procès.
Le 28 juin 2016, Yorm Bopha a été reconnu coupable pour la seconde fois par la cour d'appel de Phnom Penh, d'avoir frappé les deux conducteurs de moto-taxi en 2012. Elle a été condamnée à trois ans de prison; elle a déjà purgé 14 mois et 18 jours de cette peine et le reste est une peine avec sursis. Elle a également était condamnée à payer 10 millions de riels aux victimes présumées. Le tribunal a condamné Yorm Bopha bien que l'accusation n'ait présenté aucune preuve la reliant à cette agression présumée.
Front Line Defenders est préoccupée par la condamnation de Yorm Bopha. Front Line Defenders exhorte les autorités cambodgiennes à infirmer la peine car il semble que tout cela soit uniquement motivé par son travail légitime et pacifique en faveur des droits humains, en particulier sa lutte contre les expulsions forcées à Boeng Kak.
On 22 November 2013, the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh decided to release human rights defender Yorm Bopha on bail. Her case will soon be referred to the Appeals Court for retrial.
Yorm Bopha is a land rights activist who has been actively involved in a community struggle against forced evictions at Boeng Kak, which have been ongoing since 2007.
The human rights defender was arrested on 4 September 2012 and sentenced to three years' imprisonment on 27 December 2012 for “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances”. On 14 June 2013, the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh reduced the sentence to two years' imprisonment.
While welcoming the release on bail, Front Line Defenders is concerned that judicial harassment continues against Yorm Bopha. Front Line Defenders urges the Cambodian authorities to drop all charges against her as it is believed they are solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights.
On 5 June 2013, the appeal trial of human rights defender Ms Yorm Bopha was suspended until 14 June 2013 in Phnom Penh. On 4 September 2012, the housing rights activist was charged with 'intentional violence with aggravating circumstances' under Article 218 of the Cambodian Criminal Code in relation to a skirmish that had broken out near her house on 7 August 2012. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment on 27 December 2012.
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 was even told that she was 'on the blacklist'.
On the morning of 4 September 2012, police called Yorm Bopha and her husband, Lous Sakhorn, to tell them they needed to renew their voting cards. When they left the house they were apprehended and forced into a car by plain-clothes policemen. Yorm Bopha was then taken to Prey Sar prison where she was held in pre-trial detention whilst her husband was released. In the prison, the human rights defender was forced to make her thumbprint on a number of documents without being informed of the reasons for her detention. Yorm Bopha was held in detention until, on 26 December 2012, she was tried along with her husband. Her two brothers, Mr Yorm Kanloang and Mr Yorm Seth, were tried in absentia. The human rights defender and the three other accused were ordered to pay compensation of 30 million riels (approximately 7,500USD each to two alleged victims. The human rights defender was sentenced to three years imprisonment against which she filed an appeal in January 2013 and had the date set for 5 June 2013. On 19 March 2013, the Cambodian Prime Minister referred to the human rights defender's case as “a simple case of her beating someone up”. Yorm Bopha's second appeal for bail was denied on 27 March 2013.
The assault for which the human rights defender has been sentenced is alleged to have taken place on 7 August 2012 at approximately 7pm. Two motorcycle taxi-drivers, Mr Nget Chet and Mr Vath Thaiseng were drinking outside a bar when they were set upon by two assailants wielding an axe and a screwdriver. Yorm Bopha had been out exercising and had stopped to talk to her husband and a neighbour. When they saw the skirmish break out, they went over to enquire but did not enter the bar. According to the Prosecution, Yorm Bopha and her husband had ordered the attack and then arrived at the scene to witness it. It is alleged that Yorm Bopha's brothers carried out the attack because the alleged victims had stolen the human rights defender's car mirror one month before. Yorm Bopha says that although it is true her mirror was stolen, she had no idea who the suspects were, nor had she ever seen the alleged victims before. Despite the fact that the Cambodian Criminal Procedure Code states that no civil party can stand as a witness in a case they stand to gain compensation from, the two motorcycle taxi-drivers were allowed to make statements, which were used as the main source of evidence against the defendants, and they were not required to take an oath.
Front Line Defenders is concerned at the above-mentioned irregularities in the trial of Yorm Bopha. It is believed that the charges and conviction against her are motivated solely by her peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights in Cambodia, particularly her struggle against forced eviction in Boeng Kak.
Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Cambodia to:
Immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Yorm Bopha as it is believed the charges and conviction against her are solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights;
Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Cambodia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.