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

Dear Bopha

You are a brave woman and an example to us all. I am thrilled that you have been released. Never give up.

Sue Craig, Devon, England

SueCraig53 5 years ago

Dear Bopa

it was such good news to hear of your release. I hope all goes well in the future, you are very brave and I admire you for the stand you have taken despite the consequences

Laurel Luscombe

laurel.luscombe 5 years ago

wonderful news of your release. I shall hold you in the Light together with your family

jb4844 5 years ago

Goody gumdrops
Glad you are free again Bopha,so many people rightfully saw your imprisonment as an unjust act and I'm sure they will be there for you should you need the support in the future
All the best
Paul Kieron Wood

gumbone 5 years ago

Wonderful that you are home with your loved ones, may your bravery be rewarded with true security

bee19 5 years ago

Great news that you are back with your family, Bopha. We hope you can continue to be brave and fight for the rights of those who need you. We are thinking of you.

meena.param 5 years ago

Very pleased to hear that you are now home with your family. You are a role model for many of us. Keep strong.

Ilaria 5 years ago

Great news. The world watches and repressive regimes change in the end. It may take a while but your courage inspires others and we will support all we can.

pamela f 5 years ago

You are an inspiration. Stay strong.

Stuartie 5 years ago

You are an inspiration. Stay strong.

Stuartie 5 years ago

So glad you have been released. Always remember that you are not alone!

Jeevan Ravindran 5 years ago

So glad you have been released. Always remember that you are not alone!

Jeevan Ravindran 5 years ago

So glad you have been released. Always remember that you are not alone!

Jeevan Ravindran 5 years ago

So glad you have been released. Always remember that you are not alone!

Jeevan Ravindran 5 years ago

Today we had our Amnesty International 'Write for Rights' Campaign in Ringwood, UK. We were a small group of A.I. members standing for 5 hours in the cold November wind, but we happily spent our Saturday campaigning for human rights as there are still so many people kept in prison because they campaigned for human rights and justice in their countries. These people are many times neglected and forgotten peoples. Today these people were not forgotten, cards were written and donations made and the good news had reached us that Yorm Bopha was released. May that great news inspire all A.I. members in the 'Write for rights' campaign not to give up hope. May the A.I. candle burn a little brighter in the darkness of our world every time a prisoner is released.
Amnesty International Ringwood

Local Group A.I. Ringwood 5 years ago

Dearest Yorm, so happy you are home again with you dear husband and son Lyhour! You have been in the thoughts, hearts and prayers of my family and I since we heard of your plight. Such horrid trumped up charges and such harrowing bullying shows what a wonderful caring lady you are - and we know it as does the world!

My family and I join with all the thousands of your supporters to press those who would persecute you to stop, from now on, never to start again. Ridiculous trumped up charges must be dropped so that you may live in peace with your family! Caring is a blessing and you are blessed!

Watching and praying for you and your family, always in our thoughts and constantly looking out for you. Your loving sister Carol xxx

cmkemp 5 years ago

Dear Yorm,

I am so happy to hear that you have been released from prison at last and have returned home to your family.

I admire you for your courage in campaigning for your community and I am supporting you in your struggle through the courts to clear your name. I am one of many thousands of people who have signed a petition demanding that the trumped up charges against you be dropped.

We will not give up until you are completely free.

My best wishes to you and your family.
Maggie

maggienelmes 5 years ago

I am very happy that you have been released. I hope that these charges are dropped and you are allowed to continue being the brave, compassionate member of your community that you obviously are.

Stuart 5 years ago

I am pleased that you have been released. I hope all charges against you are dropped.

Martin Gem 5 years ago

Dear Bopha, I am so pleased to hear that you are back home with your loving family. I hope the charges against you are dropped soon. You are an inspiring person and very brave to stand up to the authorities. Keep strong.

Neil Dymond 5 years ago

Wonderful news of your release. I am so happy that you are back with your family. I do hope that the charges against you are dropped. Your community needs you so stay strong. Many of us are supporting you.
Sheila

sheila_3 5 years ago

Dear Bopha, I am so pleased to hear that you are back with your family. Your bravery is awe-inspiring. Wishing you health and happiness.

Sara

vogler 5 years ago

Dear Bopha, I am delighted to hear from Amnesty and friends in PP that you have been released, and are back home with your family. We hope this is the first stage in the charges against you being dropped.
Good wishes to you and your family... and your community,
Marcus

Marcus T 5 years ago

Dear Bopha, it is wonderful news that you have been released on bail & can rejoin your family. They will be so happy that you are together again. I hope that all the charges against you will soon be dropped. It is wonderful that people like you are prepared to stand up to the authorities when they are prepared to destroy communities. I hope that you can remain strong. I send you this message in friendship. Trevor

trevor_3 5 years ago

Dear Bopha Great news to hear you've been released on bail and can get back to your family. Hopefully the charges will soon be dropped.
With best wishes to you and your family Moira

m.babary 5 years ago

Dear Bopha!
It is great that you have been released. I hope that you will remain strong and remember - you have friends all around the world that will support you if the authorities continues their harrasments. Never give up, the world needs brave people as you.
Best regards Sverre

sverre 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I am so pleased that you have been released, even if it is only on bail at present. Your amnesty friends around the world continue to think of you and support you. We hope that the charges will soon be dropped. You are truly an inspirational person, standing up for what is right and true at the expense of your own health and safety.We will never forget you.
With love and best wishes
Caroline

carolinesher 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

I'm very happy that you've been released...You have our full support in your fight for what's right!!!!...Never give in!!!!

All the best!!

Paco Rivera

pacorivera54 5 years ago

Delighted that you have been released, and hope to see you truly free very soon. You are such a brave and inspirational woman. Good luck!
Warm wishes,
Annie

annemcdowall 5 years ago

It is wonderful that you have finally been released back into the heart of your family. I am awed by you and your families courage and determination. I truly hope and pray that the authorities will soon come to their senses and drop these ridiculous charges and that you, your family and the community you live in will have lasting peace.
Bopha you are a strong and inspirational woman to all people on this precious planet of ours.
All the best for the future.
Stephen Lion.....

Mr Stephen John Ashmore 5 years ago

I'm very glad to hear of your release on bail Bopha. I will pray that your case is dismissed on the grounds that it is a trumped up false accusation. The authorities should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to you and your family. I thought the current government in Cambodia behaved in an upright manner. It would appear I am wrong.
Very best wishes,
Peter Dilworth

peterdilworth 5 years ago

So glad you have been released and hope the false charges against you are dropped very soon so that you and your family can continue with your lives without fear. Without people like yourself, the world would be an even worse place to live in.

teaface1 5 years ago

We continue to pray for you. Keep up the great work. And enjoy your time with your family. Good luck!

ktella 5 years ago

So pleased to hear of your release.I pray for the false charges against you to be dropped.So glad you are back with your family,

phyllis.russell 5 years ago

We admire your courage and determination, Bopha - and we are delighted to hear that you have been granted bail. We are watching developments and we dearly hope that the false charges against you will now be withdrawn.

Anne and Graham 5 years ago

I admire your courage.

cookmadinner 5 years ago

Dear Bopha
I admire your courage and hope the future brings only good things
best wishes
gary

pearcie999 5 years ago

Your courage and commitment are an inspiration - many people are supporting you and wishing you well

David

David Perkins 5 years ago

Dear Bopha You have been very brave. People such as me are thinking of you and your plight and watching out to help and support you. Mo Corcoran

mo_1 5 years ago

Never give up.

johnbehets 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I'm very glad that you are home now. I hope that the charges will be dropped.
Jeannie

jeanwaudby 5 years ago

Stay strong and stay active. I'm glad you are back with your family.

BerlinPilgrim 5 years ago

You are an inspirational woman, wife and mother. May justice be with you always as you do what you believe for all the right reasons.

JaynVees Mum 5 years ago

It is brilliant to know that you have been released and you must be so happy and relieved to be home with your family.
You are an inspiration to us all, and a reminder we should all fight for what is right even at personal cost to ourselves.

Kerryjgreenwood 5 years ago

Great to know you are home and back with your family. You have our support and solidarity in your continued fight for justice and basic human rights.

patrick.fenwick 5 years ago

I am glad you have been released but concerned that the charges have not been dropped. Keep strong.

Peter

peter c stone 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I am truly glad that you are back with your family. Keep strong and I hope they drop the charges. Thinking of you with admiration from the other side of the world Regine

ragingregine 5 years ago

Stay strong my dear lady, the world is a better place for people like you who fight for their rights and don't take injustice for granted. Good luck to you, I hope the charges are dropped, and you can get on with your life. You are truly an inspirational person.

sue_13 5 years ago

Dear Bopha
Your inspiration and your campaign work for your community, and the personal sacrifices you have suffered, must be greatly admired. It was with great pleasure that I have learned of your release on bail and that you are now with your family.
Many Amnesty International members around the world will be writing to the Cambodia authorities to campaign for the charges against you to be dropped immediately and unconditionally. I wish you health and happiness and that justice prevails. From John in the UK

jodan 5 years ago

Inspired by your strength and courage. Stay strong and have strength in the knowledge you have supporters behind you. Will pray for the future of you, your family and the demise of the injustice you have fought against. From Sara u.k

Sarasknox 5 years ago