13 Released

After a month and three days of incarceration the release of the 13 prisoners was an impressive affair, starting off with clashes with the police which led to the miscarriage of Pov Srey Srah, a 3 months pregnant villager, after she received a blow to the stomach by a police officer.
Things calmed down after the initial unrest and the morning continued peacefully as families supporters and community members awaited the verdict from the Appeal Court.
Once the verdict was heard the 13 women at the court and the supporters waiting on the street as close to the court as the police would allow was a moment of euphoria.
Throughout the day and into the evening the extraordinary patience and dedication of the protesters and especially the families of the 13 women, never flagged.
The journey back from the prison, a triumphant parade, was possibly the single largest campaign by the Boeung Kak community. More than 50 motorcycles and tuk-tuks with megaphones and beeping their horns, drove the 20 km between the prison and Boeung Kak. Although there struggle is far from over, the fact that these 13 women have been reunited with their families and community is the most significant victory for the movement since the 12.44 hectare concession.

Holding a megaphone the daughter of Srey Pov sits with fellow demonstrators as they wait the verdict from the Appeal Court. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

The women are escorted back in to the Appeal Court to await the final verdict © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

The women sit in the Appeal Court to await the final verdict. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Srey Pov in the Appeal Court waiting for the final verdict. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

The 13 women celebrate after hearing that they have been released. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Fellow community members and supporters celebrate in the street near the Appeal Court after hearing the verdict. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

A convoy of tuk-tuks drive down to the prison to await the release of the 13 women. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Fellow community members and supporters, awaiting the release of the 13 women, dance in front of the prison . © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Vanny is greeted by supporters as she leaves the prison. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Sokha is greeted by her daughter and friends as she leaves the prison. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Srey Pov is greeted by her children and friends as she leaves the prison. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

Srey Pov is greeted by friends and supporters before they leave the prison to make their way back to Boeung Kak. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

A convoy of tuk-tuks and motorcycles drive back from the prison after the release of 13 women. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

The women were greeted by a large party of supporters and villagers when they arrived back at Boeung Kak. © Nicolas Axelrod 2012

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