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Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Guest Bloggers: Natalie Bugalski and David Pred, Inclusive Development International

Last week thirteen Cambodian women representatives of the Boeung Kak Lake community were sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after a summary trial. The women, including a 72-year old grandmother, were arrested on May 22 whilst singing at a peaceful protest to support 18 families whose homes had been buried in sand by a private developer (view the video). The arrest, trial and sentencing took place within 48 hours, with no time for the women’s lawyers to prepare a defense. During their trial, the police arrested two more community representatives who were waiting outside the courthouse prepared to testify as witnesses for the 13 women on trial.

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 Photograph: Housing Rights Task Force

The women, who call themselves the League of Boeung Kak Women Struggling for Housing Rights, have waged a multi-year battle to defend their homes and land in the bustling…

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