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4 Jul 2024


Cambodia: CIVICUS, Forum Asia, FLD and ADN call on govt. to cease criminalisation of & harassment against human rights defenders

"Cambodia: Conviction of Mother Nature activists is a blatant attack on activism", 4 July 2024

CIVICUS, a global civil society alliance, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Front Line Defenders and Asia Democracy Network (ADN) strongly condemn the conviction and sentencing of ten activists …, associated with environmental group, Mother Nature. We call on authorities to overturn this unjust conviction and end the harassment and criminalisation of activists in Cambodia.

…, activists Yim Leanghy, Sun Ratha, and Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson were sentenced to 8 years jail today and a 10 million riel (USD 2,434) fine for the offence of ‘insulting the King’ (Article 437 bis) and ‘plotting’ (Article 453) of the Criminal Code. Other activists Thun Ratha, Long Kunthea, Phuon Keoraksmey, Ly Chandaravuth, Binh Piseth, Rai Raksa, and Pork Khoeuy were sentenced to six years jail for the offence of ‘plotting’ and an arrest warrant was issued.

Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, the co-founder of Mother Nature and a Spanish national, was sentenced in-absentia as he has been barred from entering the country …, after being deported for his work protecting environmental rights…

…The group was awarded the 2023 Right Livelihood award for their work, though the members facing charges were prevented by the court from travelling to Stockholm to receive the award in-person.

… Cambodia should end its reprisals against Mother Nature and other human rights defenders.

Our organisations call for their convictions to be quashed and for their immediate and unconditional release. We also urge the government to halt the use of restrictive laws to criminalise human rights defenders and other activists and repeal all provisions in the Criminal Code that criminalise the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Cambodia.