Cambodian youths jailed over environmental activism

  • Cambodia
  • Wednesday, 05 May 2021

Supporters of Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, shout slogans in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. Rong Chhun was arrested Friday night on a charge of inciting social unrest because of his comments about a politically sensitive matter concerning the country’s borders and taken to court Saturday to hear the charge against him. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH, May 5 (dpa): A Cambodian judge jailed three youth activists on Wednesday, saying their efforts to raise awareness about environmental issues in the country amounted to "incitement."

Phuon Keoreaksmey, Long Kunthea and Thun Ratha were handed sentences of between 18 and 20 months for "incitement to disturb social security," reported local outlet Voice of Democracy.

The trio, who were also fined 1,000 dollars each, are members of the environmental activism group Mother Nature.

The court also convicted in absentia the group’s co-founder Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson and another member Chea Kunthin.

The three activists were detained in September. They were planning a one-person march to raise awareness about the infilling of a Phnom Penh lake.

Mother Nature has been vocal against environmental crime in Cambodia, taking aim at issues such as sand dredging, logging and the impact of hydro power.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson slammed the court’s "outrageous and unacceptable" persecution of the activists.

"These environmental activists show incredible bravery by shining a light on corruption and rights abuses connected to crony business projects that threaten Cambodia’s natural resources and biodiversity," he said.

"Today’s convictions are part of the Cambodian government’s continued vendetta against Mother Nature, a thorn in the government’s side that the officials are now moving to destroy through bogus criminal charges." - dpa
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Aseanplus News

Overseas travel will be easier soon with relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, says Dr Wee
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake has died aged 84
Brunei to begin new IC system in phases
Vientiane authorities swamped as flooded roads cause havoc
After Seoul video, MRTA assures Bangkok subway flood-proof
Second officer named suspect in Indonesian cop death
Manufacturing sales value surges 23.4% to RM153.5bil in June
China seizes on Pelosi visit to set 'new normal' for Taiwan
Papua New Guinea's new parliament returns Marape as prime minister
PAC merely carrying out its responsibilities on LCS report, Wong rebuts Ahmad Zahid

Others Also Read