Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists detained in Koh Kong

Activists detained in Koh Kong

Sand-dredging ships and barges anchor along a section of the Andoung Tuek River in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor district earlier this year.
Sand-dredging ships and barges anchor along a section of the Andoung Tuek River in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor district earlier this year. Mother Nature

Activists detained in Koh Kong

Environmental activists and community members in Koh Kong province were yesterday detained by guards from a sand dredging company while documenting the firm’s activities.

Two activists from local environmental group Mother Nature – Nhek Nitra and Mot Kimry – were briefly held along with community members Kheiu Sales, Mot Thary and Loek Socheata.

A British filmmaker and journalist, Rod Harbinson, was also detained with the group in Trapaing Roung commune’s Koh Kong Knong village.

Kimry, 23, said they travelled to the site to photograph the company’s dredging activities, which they suspected were illegal, but were detained at about 4pm by security guards working for Udom Seima Peanich Industry & Mine.

The company was named in a May 2010 report by Global Witness as one of several firms involved in the monthly export of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sand to Singapore from Koh Kong.

Eat Bun Thol, director of Udom Seima, yesterday defended the firm’s actions, saying it was the firm’s prerogative to “arrest and interrogate them”.

Koh Kong police said they were unaware of the detention of the environmentalists.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • EU companies voice concern over impact of possible EBA withdrawal

    European companies operating in Cambodia voiced concern over the potential repercussions of removing the Kingdom’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential scheme, as the EU Ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, led an EU-organised media trip this week. Speaking in Siem Reap province as part of