cambodian land rights activist yorm bopha to be released on bail

by Tim Phillips

Yorm Bopha will be released on bail sometime today. The Cambodian Supreme Court ordered that Bopha’s case be further investigated and re-tried. Apparently the Court of Appeals failed to address some of the evidence presented.

Bopha said the Supreme Court should have simply dropped the charges against her. Incarcerated since September 4, 2012, she was convicted on December 27 of assault, a trumped-up charge, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. In June, the Court of Appeals upheld her conviction but reduced her sentence to two years.

Human Rights Watch has said the charges against Bopha were an attempt to retaliate against her for her activism. According to today’s TIME article,

Land grab grievances came to a head in 2012, when fierce protests were sparked in the Boeung Kak area of the capital, Phnom Penh, and thirteen women were convicted for occupying land illegally. In the aftermath, Bopha became the most vocal activist fighting for the women’s release, for which she received numerous threats and was frequently harassed.

As Slavoj Žižek has written, we should “keep in view the dark underside of global capitalism that is fomenting revolts.”