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5 Nov 2021


Cambodia: Phnom Penh Court of Appeal suspend parts of imprisonment sentences of three environmental rights defenders

"Imprisoned Mother Nature Activists Get Suspended Sentences, Probation on Appeal", 5 November 2021

The Phnom Penh Appeal Court … suspended parts of the prison sentences of three imprisoned Mother Nature activists and placed them under judicial supervision for three years, meaning they face onerous reporting requirements or else risk being forced to serve the remaining sentences.

The three activists – Thun Ratha, Long Kunthea and Phuon Keoraksmey – were sentenced … by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on charges of incitement under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code over the planning of a one-woman march … to discuss the filling in of Boeung Tamok lake in the capital’s north…

Ratha was originally sentenced to 20 months in prison, but this morning’s ruling resulted in six months being suspended. Kunthea and Keoraksmey had been handed 18-month sentences, and this morning they had four months of those sentences suspended…

Ratha, Kunthea and Keoraksmey, who were 28, 22 and 19 years old at the time of their arrest, were also handed three years of probation under Articles 119 and 120, which carries conditions such as informing a prosecutor of any change of address, change of occupation, or intention to leave the country, among others. They were also ordered to not associate with anyone convicted in the same case, and if they are convicted of incitement again in the next three years, they will have to serve the full original sentence in addition to any new sentence.