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Areng Valley dam activist summonsed

A prominent Areng Valley activist has been summonsed for questioning at Koh Kong Provincial Court next week over alleged forest crimes.

Ven Vorn, a community representative in the remote valley, was originally called to appear at the court last month, but the questioning was delayed. A new summons was issued this week ordering him to appear on April 3.

“This time, we will go on the scheduled day,” Vorn’s lawyer, Ith Mathoura, said.

According to Alex Gonzalez-Davidson, co-founder of environmental group Mother Nature, the Forestry Administration (FA) filed a complaint against Vorn for his role in building a visitor centre in the valley using wood the FA said they had not been given permission to use.

“The centre has been built and will continue to grow … fulfilling the vision of turning the valley into a hub for tourists, Khmer students, researchers, etc”, said Gonzalez-Davidson, who was deported last month.

“That the FA is not helping us but rather trying to send to jail one of the community leaders is a scandal without name.”

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