Yorm Bopha set free in Cambodia
Yorm Bopha has been released from prison in Cambodia!
Just days after being reunited with her family and community, she told to Amnesty International: “Thank you to Amnesty International's supporters! Your campaign has been successful, as my release shows! But my case is not over yet. Please keep pushing the Cambodian government to end the case against me. And please keep supporting me, my community and others in Cambodia! We can achieve the most success when we all work together!"
A 30-year old mother of one, Yorm Bopha has been imprisoned since her arrest in September 2012 on accusations of planning an assault on two men. She was convicted in December last year for “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances”, despite no evidence against her and inconsistent witness testimonies.
Amnesty International designated Yorm Bopha a prisoner of conscience, having determined that the real reason for her imprisonment was her human rights activism. She had been defending her community’s rights at the former Boeung Kak Lake in the capital Phnom Penh, where thousands of people have been forcibly evicted since 2007.
Amnesty International’s researcher for Cambodia, Robert Abbott said “She should never have been imprisoned, locked up and separated from her young son and family ...Yorm Bopha’s case is symbolic of a worrying trend in Cambodia over recent years where human rights defenders face harassment, threats, arrest, imprisonment and worse for their peaceful activism.”
Yorm Bopha’s is among 12 cases selected for Amnesty International’s flagship event Write for Rights 2013, the world’s biggest human rights campaign.
Leading up to Write for Rights, Amnesty International’s members in 40 countries, together with her community and other activists in Cambodia, have been calling on Cambodia’s government to release Yorm Bopha, signing petitions and sharing their photos and messages of support online to show their solidarity with the imprisoned housing rights activist.
The release of Yorm Bopha demonstrates that campaigning and activism can really make a difference in the lives of people who are victims of human rights abuses and violations.
Amnesty International will continue to campaign for Yorm until she is acquitted and released unconditionally.