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Local activist called in for questioning

A prominent activist in Koh Kong province who has opposed the construction of the Stung Cheay Areng dam has been summonsed to court for alleged “forest crimes”.

The summons, issued by provincial court judge Min Makara last month, was handed to Ven Vorn on Sunday.

The activist was charged with collecting forest products without permission and tampering with evidence.

If found guilty, Vorn could face up to five years in prison.

“If you do not appear [in court] on the aforementioned date, we will issue an arrest warrant,” the summons reads.

Vorn yesterday said he planned to attend the hearing, which was likely related to the construction of a community centre in the Areng Valley.

“The authorities want to place false allegations against me because I am a representative of the community and protect the natural resources of the Areng,” he said.

Vorn was one of several activists and journalists detained last week while protesting the jailing of three activists from local NGO Mother Nature.

In Kongchit, of local rights group Licadho, said the summons was intended to stifle further protests.

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