Yorm Bopha released on bail

Yorm Bopha, a Cambodian activist, who was imprisoned on false charges to keep her quiet, has been released after more than 85,000 people signed our global petition including nearly 18,000 from the UK.

‘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. We can achieve the most success when we all work together!’
Yorm Bopha

Thank you for helping get Bopha home to her son and husband. But she has only been released on bail and the charges haven’t been dropped.

We’d like you to leave a message in the comments section below to let Bopha know you are thinking of her and are celebrating her release.

She should never have been imprisoned in the first place and the Supreme Court should have dropped the charges against her today and allowed her to be released unconditionally, but we are happy that today she can return to her family.

‘the release of Yorm Bopha, albeit on bail, proves that campaigning and activism can really make a difference in the lives of people who are victims of human rights abuses and violations.’
Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International Cambodian researcher

Bopha’s story

When her neighbours in Beoung Kak Lake were forced from their homes in their thousands to make way for development, Bopha did not stay silent. When the lake was filled with sand, flooding people’s homes, she did not merge into the crowds.

She took up a microphone and led local activists – most of whom are women – in resistance. She knew there were risks, but she did it for her community, her family and their future.

Threatened, harassed, arrested

First the authorities began to threaten and harass Bopha. Then, in September 2012, she was arrested for planning an assault on two men. Needless to say, the charges were bogus.  

Yet even though there was no evidence linking her to the attack, she was convicted and sentenced to three years. In prison she had to share a cramped cell with seven other women.

Husband and son at home

While Bopha was in prison, her family suffered too. Husband Sakhorn says without her around, the warmth had gone from their lives. He told us losing Bopha was like losing an arm.

The heavy compensation the family were forced to pay to her ‘victims’ has crippled them financially. With Sakhorn unable to work selling cloth due to ill-health, their 10 year old son Lyhour can no longer go to school.

But he is inspired by his mum's activism, following in her footsteps by joining community marches for her release.

Please leave a message for Bopha in the comments below.

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192 comments

Hi Booha
Great news to hear of your release today. Enjoy being back with your family and know that there are many of us supporting you.
All the best
Howard

Howgilb 5 years ago

Dear Bopha: such good news, though I'm hoping to hear far better news - that the charges have been dropped. People all over the world have been moved by your courage and angered by what has happened to you, and will be excited to hear that you're back with your family, where you belong.

thinking of you,

Susan

sinajina 5 years ago

Dear Sister Bopha,

You are a woman of great courage, dignity and intelligence. I feel very much for your little child, who must have missed his mummy very much. I am sorry to read also about his missing school. Please continue to be strong.

Many kind and warm wishes for you and your family.
Devi Hardeen
Scotland

Devi Hardeen 5 years ago

So glad to hear the news. We are thinking about you and your family. You are a very brave person.

RowenaD 5 years ago

So glad to hear the news. We are thinking about you and your family. You are a very brave person.

RowenaD 5 years ago

Well done for your release. Your brave actions have a ripple effect which inspire all of us - thanks a lot for that! Good luck for your future and all the best.

Matt in London 5 years ago

So happy to hear your news, Bhopa. We are thinking of you here in the UK, and admire your courage. Stay strong. You are not alone!

Honey 5 years ago

Congratulationsm Yorm Bopha! We are celebrating your release right around the world today. Your courage and brilliance are an inspiraton to us all. Stay strong, and never give up!

rarebird 5 years ago

I´m happy for you Bhopa, kind regards from Mexico!




















arodrigovp 5 years ago

A fantastic result - congratulations! Significant, long-lasting change is hard-won through the accretion of such results!

J Louis 5 years ago

Great news that you have been released Bopha. Enjoy being back with your family. Your many thousand supporters around the world will continue the campaign to get the charges against you dropped - Jonathan Miller (UK).

Jonathan Miller 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
Defying the authorities is never easy, and can come with a great cost. You and your family have already paid a great price for standing against injustice. But you can hold your head high, knowing that what you did was right. You are to be honored and respected. Well done.

DWC 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
Defying the authorities is never easy, and can come with a great cost. You and your family have already paid a great price for standing against injustice. But you can hold your head high, knowing that what you did was right. You are to be honored and respected. Well done.
David (UK)

DWC 5 years ago

Wonderful news about your release!

janetewalch12 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

Your courage and determination to do what is right are an inspiration. I hold you in the light.

Dinah Barry (UK)

dinah.barry 5 years ago

Great news to hear that your courage has been rewarded and you are to be reunited with your family.

VeeJay 5 years ago

I have admired your stand and am glad you are out of prison. Stay strong for the next stages of your case.
Chris L (UK)

ChrisL 5 years ago

Dear Bopha
Such great news to wake up to. We just need these ludicrous charges against you to be dropped. You are an inspiration and your global family salutes you. Continue to be strong.

nico.sharque 5 years ago

I'm so happy to read that you are back to ior family. And I admirate ior courage and determination against injustice. You can be proud of you and enjoy that first victory.We are all standing with you. Keep strong ! Best regards from France.

mary.louchez 5 years ago

I am so pleased for you. Wishing you continued success and justice. From Robert in Scotland.

robertclarke538 5 years ago

Dear Bopha
This is wonderful news that you have been released on bail! We will continue to campaign for all the charges to be dropped.
I am so happy for you to be home with your son and husband again! What a very painful thing to have been ripped apart like this in such an unjust way.
I am happy to think of your son having his mum home again, of you and your husband being back together. What a really difficult time this has been for you all. I admire your courage and continue to stand with you.
With love and solidarity
Tamsin (UK)

tamsin carter 5 years ago

I am happy to hear the news of your release and I wish you continued success and justice.
Caroline L (UK)

carolinelaidlaw 5 years ago

This is really great news. You're a hugely courageous lady and I only hope and pray that real justice will eventually see the light of day and you will be free to live the life you choose for the rest of your days.
In solidarity,
James (UK)

J.J. Ward 5 years ago

I am so happy for this news! You are a true inspiration to all women. I will continue to do as much as I can to help drop bail.
I was lucky to visit Cambodia in 2007 and it remains my favourite country - beautiful people.
Laura xxx

laurasbubble 5 years ago

welcome home Bopha!

eladora 5 years ago

Brave woman. Well done for standing up to them. Enjoy your freedom and long may it last. We are with you.

andredemendonca 5 years ago

However fed up you must be by now, do not lose sight of the potential of your own willpower. You have to set in your mind a vision of something you could see yourself enjoying and place that image in your mind as often as you can.
It is a conjuring trick to coerce you and shield you from distress.
The slowness of progress must not discourage you in any way. You are a child of the universe and so you must call out to it each and every day and say "I am here". You must accept nothing less than fair treatment, which is your rightful entitlement. Ruffle feathers without question, if needs be, as in this busy world we must be heard. Be lionhearted now and roar your way through this brief pause ! Roar so loudly that we can all hear the foundations of the earth shudder ! We are all of us fighting creatures who were born to roar ! We are roaring with you !

helenpletts 5 years ago

You are an amazing person. I'm delighted that you're back and we'll continue to fight for you. And, as Helen says, keep on roaring!

Macca 5 years ago

Wonderful news! We will continue to support you. Best wishes. Pat

Mrs Pat 5 years ago

Great to hear you will be able to return to your family. You are an inspiration! I hope and pray that the charges against you will shortly be dropped.

patjoshea 5 years ago

Greetings Yorm Bopha ! Just a quick message to say congratulations on your freedom and we are celebrating your release. You are in our thoughts and we hope and pray that the charges made against you will be eventually dropped. We are so happy that you are to be reunited with your family.Much love to you and your loved ones.

avatar51 5 years ago

I rejoice with you and your family, enjoy your freedom and don't give up!

viv.black 5 years ago

I'm so glad to hear that you've been released and you can be with your family again. I want you to know that if charges are brought against you, I will continue my support for you through Amnesty International. Best wishes, Nick Rorke (from England)

nick.rorke 5 years ago

Very good news about your release but still a way to g with being on bail. There are a lot of people supporting you in Amnesty International. My best wishes to you. Margaret Boulton. Sheffield

msboulton12345 5 years ago

great news!...don't give up... keep the fight for your rights. you are not alone.

vivibogota 5 years ago

Such good news to hear today. You can pick up your life again. Good luck in the future for you and your family and I do hope that the charges will soon be dropped. I will follow any progress and keep writing. Kind regards, Sally McCartan

flowerpot 5 years ago

Congratulations on your release! You have been so courageous and an inspiration to us all. The Amnesty International community are behind you all the way!

katie.wauchope 5 years ago

Congratulations and good luck
Jenny

jennywithergdn 5 years ago

Congratulations and good luck
Jenny

jennywithergdn 5 years ago

I am so pleased for you. Please keep up your good work. I will be thinking of you!

masurisana 5 years ago

Your courage is inspirational, Bopha - the world needs more people like you! I'm so happy for you and your family that you have been released today, and I hope that justice will prevail in the end, and that the false charges against you will eventually be dropped. I am holding you, your family, and the community for whom you spoke out - all of you - in the Light. People all round the world are keeping faith with you - stay brave. Cilla (UK)

cillalynch 5 years ago

You are a very brave lady. I wish you all the luck in the world for your campaign and for justice.

mikeselwood 5 years ago

Stay strong because we all know that your simply doing right not just for yourself but also for everyone else <3

hollyh 5 years ago

Johm riab sua Bopha, wonderful to hear that you have been released and now I hope that all charges against you will be dropped. You are a very brave woman and an inspiration to other people to stand up for their rights and justice. Well done!! warmest regards Karen

KarenP 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

Happy to hear you have been released and are free to live with your family again. I understand that the charges against you are still upheld so I will keeping pushing for them to be dropped. Everyone understands that they are a fiction and a means to intimidate you and fellow activists. The world understands that you stood up against a forced eviction and this was the right thing to do. I wish you all the best.

momo.sander 5 years ago

I'm really pleased for you and your family that you have been released. We will keep pushing for all charges against you to be dropped.

lyon23 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

We were speaking out for you when you were in prison and I, personally, feel the strongest satisfaction and feel very happy that you can celebrate New 2014 along with your family! Good luck to you and remain strong, we believe in you and we will not let anyone to jeopardise the philosophy of law and justice!

My warmest regards from London, Kamran Nurel Maryam (FB profile)

kamran.balayev 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

I am so glad you have been released.
It was horrific that you were arrested for speaking out against this destruction.
You are a special woman in this world to do what you do.
Good luck for the future.

rocketkevin 5 years ago

Dear Bopha
I am very happy for you.
You have been so brave.
I wish you every success for your remaining struggle.
I believe that you are indeed a very good example for all of us when we injustice.
Best regards
John Hinze

johnhinze 5 years ago

So glad you are back home with your loved ones! I hope you will remain there.
Thank you for speaking up against injustice and oppression. I admire your courage.

Julie Grisi 5 years ago