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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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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192 comments

Dear Bopha!
My english is not good enough to express my feelings and emotions for such a strong and lovely woman like You. You are a real hero to me and my mind is with You and your family. This world needs people like You. Wishing You all the best and stay strong. A very special warm hug to You. -adam

adamouli 5 years ago

Fantastic news about your release, Bopha, so happy for you and your family! With love, Alenka

Alenka.B 5 years ago

News of your release is so wonderful, Bopha. I can't express how happy I am for you and yours.

x Rebecca

beckmayjones 5 years ago

Our support is constant - you will not be forgotten.

kgc8 5 years ago

Excellent news about the bail! Now keep on fighting!!

ALejeune 5 years ago

Great news. Look after yourself with all your heart so that you can continue the fight. Lucy x

damelucysafe 5 years ago

Fantastic to hear this news. Keep up the struggle!

Maldir 5 years ago

Bopha, you are an inspiration to us thousands of miles away. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

jasr 5 years ago

Great news!

Regards,

Steven

Steven Bartlett 5 years ago

You are a true inspiration, Bopha. You have such courage and I have a great deal of admiration for you. Keep up your campaigning and I wish you and your family lots of strength.

fibiermann 5 years ago

I'm delighted to hear of your release and I wish you and your family all the best.

Sheila x 5 years ago

Thank you for your courage and bravery. I can not begin to imagine what you have been through. I have nothing but love and respect for you, your husband and son. May love be abundant around you from this day forward xxx

Metta 5 years ago

Dear Bopha, I am delighted to hear that you have been released even though it is only on bail at the moment. We will continue to campaign for justice to clear you of all charges. I believe Truth always prevails. Bopha, I salute your courage & the courage , please know that you have many, many hearts and minds behind you.
Alaine Eadie

Alaine Eadie 5 years ago

I welcome the wonderful news of your release. Your Amnesty International friends around the world stand with you as you seek justice. Please stay strong. You are inspirational. Best wishes for 2014.

vernoninho 5 years ago

This is very good news about your release. We'll continue to think of you - stay strong.

Just C 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
Thank you for your courage and dignity which is an inspiration.
Best wishes,
Paula. (UK)

paulakellyince 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I am so happy and relieved that you have been released. You are an inspiration to people all around the world.
Much Love from England

sara-namaste 5 years ago

Best wishes to you and your family

CDR 5 years ago

We are so happy that you have been released and can return to your family. We were very moved watching the video about you and especially when your son spoke about your absence. We will continue to support your campaign so that all charges are dropped. Our thoughts are with you and we hope next year brings more human rights to Cambodia. Best wishes from students from Gateways School, Leeds, UK.

fiona.wilson 5 years ago

Bopha,

You have been selfless in the support of your community, and no doubt they have taken much strength from your actions, Very best wishes to you and your family.

Paul Wyeth
UK

cherish.pw 5 years ago

Dear Bopha

On a day when we are all thinking about the life of Nelson Mandela it underlines the huge value of people like you who have the courage to speak out and stand firm against injustice. You have my great respect and very best wishes for the future.

Kev
UK

kevin.scott25 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

We are so pleased that you have been released and can return to your family. We are thinking of you and support you in your struggle for justice.
Andrew and Meg
UK

abk.mk 5 years ago

So happy you are back with your family
Never give up
xx

gillbur 5 years ago

We stand with you in solidarity Yorm Bopha and may all charges be dropped against you. Peace x

avatar51 5 years ago

Yorm Bopha.....we are thinking of you and send you and your family our love and best wishes. From Martin, Terry, Sue and Ted

mplantuk 5 years ago

You are an inspiration to all women. You put the welfare of your community before your own and I admire you greatly.

I hope that all charges will be dropped and the case against you dismissed and you may remain at home with your family.

I send you love and good wishes for the coming year.

joyelden 5 years ago

Wonderful news that you have been released. We will keep on asking (and asking) for the charges against you to be dropped.
peace and love
Julie, Colin, Murray and Robyn

JulieL 5 years ago

Great news that you are free. I hope the charges will soon be dropped

diana_3 5 years ago

Dear Yorm Bopha,

I am delighted you have been released on bail. This can only give hope that the charges will be dropped and you will be freed.

Wishing you strength, and with admiration,
Annie

annabelgullett 5 years ago

Dear Yorm Bopha

I am full of admiration for your courage and perseverance in standing up for the rights of your community. A great inspiration. Your family must be very proud.

I hope the unjustified charges against you are soon dropped.

Michael

mikeb123 5 years ago

Dear Yorm Bopha,
We are pleased to hear of your release from prison and continue to hope the charges against you are dropped completely.
Peter & Vicki, Chester UK

Jennerfamily 5 years ago

Dear Yorm Bopha,
I am glad to hear of your release and hope that as a result of your persistence and international pressure that the charges against you are dropped. I also hope that you find financial security in the future. Hearing about the peaceful protest you championed following your forced eviction was inspiring.

Will, Sheffield, UK

Will F 5 years ago

Dear Yorm Bopha, your courage to stand up for what is right is inspiring. its wonderful news that you have been released but I hope these charges against you are dropped soon.

elizabethackett 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
You are a rolemodel for all women. I hope justice prevails for you. Stay strong.
Jo

Jooo 5 years ago

The most important thing to do is to suggest positive change for a future in the interest of mankind in general. Even violent authorities will accept a peaceful change sooner or later if our motivation is to guarantee full human rights and equal provision for every individual in the world.

erikkaiser800@facebook.com 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I am incredibly happy to hear of your release and hope with all my heart that the charges will be completely dropped.
You are a remarkable woman, incredibly brave and strong, and a true inspiration.
Sending love from the UK to you, your family and your community,
Megan x

archaeo-meg 5 years ago

Dear Bopha,

Like other commenters, here, and the thousands who campaigned for your release, I salute the courage of you, your family and your fellow campaigners. Good luck for the future, and remember you are never alone!

In Solidarity

Steve

rooneysg 5 years ago

Dear Bopha

We are thinking of you. Stay strong! Sharon, David, Gareth and Simon

drowbottom.stagger 5 years ago

Dear Yorm

All good wishes for your future and that of your family.

Best wishes

Mary (UK)

mrobertson.gordon 5 years ago

Thinking of you stay strong.

BexP 5 years ago

Dear Bopha.
The pupils and teachers at our school in Edinburgh were pleased to hear of your release last year. We sent a card of solidarity last year and will be discussing your case in our 2014 Writes for Rights campaign this month as a positive action by members of Amnesty. I remain hopeful that you will be acquitted of all charges.
Best Wishes.
P. Maher
(Scotland)

p.maher 4 years ago

Dear Bopha,
I am so happy that you have been released from prison. Although you are on bail, you must stay strong now that you know how many people around the world are thinking of you and your family and supporting you.
Best wishes for the future
John Halton

Stoupaman 4 years ago