abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

13 May 2021

Phorn Bopha, Al Jazeera

Cambodia: Following conviction of five environmentalists, local and international NGOs condemn the conviction and ongoing attacks on human rights defenders

"Jailed, in hiding, expelled: Cambodia’s Mother Nature crackdown", 13 May 2021

Arrested … with two of his fellow environmental activists, Thun Rotha has barely seen his baby who is now 14 months old.

“He was arrested when our son was six months old,” Rotha’s wife Pat Raksmey told Al Jazeera…

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders called the sentencing of the activists “disgraceful”.

It “reinforces the government’s enduring policy to diminish civic space and dissenting voices,” she said.

“The verdict also shows how unable and unwilling the court is to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms that the government has voluntarily accepted,” she added…

Two other activists were also sentenced in absentia under the same charge with the court ordering their arrest.

Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, a Spanish national and the founder of Mother Nature who was expelled from the country … was sentenced to 20 months in jail, while Chea Kunthin, who is in hiding, was given 18 months in prison and fined $1,000.

“These young people were arrested for trying to protect Phnom Penh’s largest lake and preserve it for current and future generations,” said Naly Pilorge, director of LICADHO, Cambodia’s most prominent human rights NGO, which has provided legal support to the activists…

… Pradeep Wagle, the representative of the Cambodia office of the United Nations High Commissoner for human rights, which has monitored and documented the arrests and human rights abuse in Cambodia, says his office has learned that 17 individuals including six women affiliated with human rights and community-based organisations have been charged with criminal offences ...