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17 Nov 2021

Emmy Sasipornkarn, DW

Cambodia: Mother Nature Cambodia targeted by authorities as they expose human rights abuses by companies

"Cambodia targets Mother Nature group in latest crackdown on dissent", 17 November 2021

The NGO's efforts to highlight environmental issues in the country have come to the attention of authorities. While six members were released from jail last week, they still face charges and official harassment…

The NGO's efforts to shed light on environmental issues that are threatening the Southeast Asian country's diverse ecology, as well as its dwindling natural resources, has prompted the Cambodian government to take action…

"They are a thorn in the side of powerful business interests and corrupt government officials as they leverage social media to keep Cambodians informed about what's happening to their natural landscape," Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International's deputy regional director for campaigns, said of the environmental activists in an interview ...

"Cambodian authorities have repeatedly targeted Mother Nature Cambodia because of the group's fearless and relentless activism against destructive development projects, illegal mining, pollution, and deforestation," she added.

The group's campaigns have included efforts to overturn a planned hydropower project in the remote Areng Valley and expose the mining and export of sand from coastal areas. The Cambodian government had been forced to act regarding the latter when, …, Mother Nature's activism led to a total export ban on coastal sand.

… "These tactics are merely an illustration of the precarious environment in which human rights defenders in Cambodia operate, and of the Royal Government of Cambodia's relentless efforts to stifle opinions," Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights...