Petitioning Posner

20130219_BKL-1

Kingdom of Cambodia
Nation Religion King

Boeung Kak Community people
Sres Chok commune, Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh

February 19, 2013

H.E. Michael Posner
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
US Embassy to Cambodia

Request for intervention to release Yorm Bopha

Dear H.E. Posner,

We are very grateful to hear of your upcoming official visit to Cambodia, and particularly of your plans to conduct official meetings with high-ranking government officials and civil society organizations.
On the occasion of your visit, we would like to humbly request that you intervene on behalf of the US Government and make a request to Royal Cambodian Government to release Ms. Yorm Bopha immediately and unconditionally.

As you are likely aware, the Boeung Kak Community has been victimized by state-facilitated land grabbing. We have been forcibly evicted from our homes and forced to accept inadequate compensation by local authorities and the land developer Shukaku Inc., a company with close connections to the government.

Ms. Yorm Bopha is innocent of the crimes that she is accused of. She is loved and respected by the community. Bopha’s arrest is linked to the fact that she is a prominent land right activist who defends the community’s land and housing rights. She was also a key leader in the campaign to release a group of 15 Boeung Kak community members who were arrested in May 2012.

Bopha herself was arrested on September 4, 2012. In December, she was convicted in a politically-influenced decision by the Phnom Penh Court of First Instance, and sentenced to three years imprisonment and a 20 million riel fine (approximately US $5,000). She is now held at Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison.

We would like to ask you, Mr. Posner, to please intervene with the government on this case. Please help us seek justice for Ms. Yorm Bopha, so that she can be reunited with her family and with her community.

Sincerely yours,

Boeung Kak Community people

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