Tep Vanny: Harcèlement des DDH cambodgiens
13 défenseuses des droits humains, Mme Kong Chantha, Mme Tol Sreypov, Mme Tep Vanny, Mme Pov Sophea, Mme Suong Samai, Mme Pan Chhunret, Mme Heng Nom, Mme Chan Navy, Mme Po Davy, Mme Nguon Kimleang, Mme Song Sreyleap, Mme Chheng Leap et Mme Nget Kun, militent activement contre les expulsions des villageois du lac Boeung Kak. Elles ont été inculpées par le tribunal municipal de Phnom Penh pour avoir incité à prendre des terres illégalement, en vertu de l'article 504 du Code pénal et pour avoir obtenu des terres illégalement, en vertu des articles 34 et 259 de la loi sur la terre, après avoir été détenues sans charge pendant 48 heures. Sept d'entre elles ont été condamnées à deux ans et demi de prison, cinq ont été condamnées à deux ans et une a été condamnée à un an de prison.
Tep Vanny défend le droit à la terre et les droits humains et lutte contre la corruption au Cambodge. Elle joue un rôle important dans la mobilisation des communautés du lac Boeung Kak contre les plans de développement du gouvernement et des entreprises privées et contre l'expulsion des habitants; à cause de cela elle a été condamnée en 2012.
On 24 May 2012, at approximately 10am, human rights defender Venerable Loun Sovath was briefly arrested by policemen and army officers for his participation in a demonstration calling for the release of thirteen women from Boeung Kak Lake communities. Venerable Loun Sovath is a Buddhist monk and works for the defence of land rights, including speaking out against land grabs and evictions in Cambodia. He has also been active in his support for Boeung Kak Lake villagers, who are fighting against an eviction order to prevent the private development of the area. Venerable Luon Sovath is the recipient of the Hellman-Hammett Award and is a finalist for this year Martin Ennals Human Rights Award.
On 24 May 2012, Venerable Loun Sovath attended a protest outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court calling for the release of thirteen women from Boeung Kak Lake, who had been detained without charge for 48 hours. Up to one hundred people were reportedly present at the protest. It is reported that Venerable Luon Sovath was forced into an unmarked Land Cruiser by police men and army officers. He was taken to Wat Botum Pagoda, where he was detained by police and officials from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Cults and Religion until he was released at 8pm. It is reported that he was forced to sign a document stating that he will no longer be involved in human rights work.
The thirteen women (Ms Kong Chantha, Ms Tol Sreypov, Ms Tep Vanny, Ms Pov Sophea, Ms Suong Samai, Ms Pan Chhunret, Ms Heng Nom, Ms Chan Navy, Ms Po Davy, Ms Nguon Kimleang, Ms Song Sreyleap, Ms Chheng Leap and Ms Nget Kun) have been active in leading protests against the eviction of Boeung Kak Lake villagers. They were convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on charges of inciting others to take land illegally under Article 504 of the Penal Code and obtaining land illegally under Articles 34 and 259 of the Land Law Act, after being detained without charge for a period of 48 hours. Seven of the women have been sentenced to two years and six months in prison, five women have been sentenced to two years and one woman has been sentenced to a one year prison sentence.
Venerable Loun Sovath has received threats over the past number of years due to his human rights and land rights work in Cambodia. In 2011, the defender was banned from entering all pagodas in Phnom Penh. On 1 April 2011, Venerable Loun Sovath attended a peaceful gathering of NGOs, media and Boeung Kak Lake representatives in front of Phnom Penh municipal office. Police attempted to arrest the defender, however a large group of friends walked with him to prevent him being arrested.
Front Line Defenders is concerned at the detention of Venerable Loun Sovath while he was attending a peaceful protest in support of Boeung Kak Lake villagers, and views this action as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment against the human rights defender.