Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists seek UN monitors

Activists seek UN monitors

Activists seek UN monitors

Anti-logging activists wrote to the United Nations yesterday to call for the monitoring of a lawsuit in which they accuse hundreds of officials in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary of illegal deforestation.

The Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organization (NRWPO) listed 241 officials it suspects of illegal deforestation in the nine-page letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia.

NRWPO director Chea Hean said yesterday that Chhun Chhie Heng, director of Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary, and eight other officials were responsible for logging in breach of the 2002 Forestry Law.

“I suggest the UN monitor and investigate my lawsuit in order to obtain justice and bring the suspects and their accomplices to prison,” Hean said.

Hean and Heng were questioned by police last month, but thus far no one has been arrested or charged in the case.

Hean’s lawsuit alleges that sanctuary officials frame him by planting evidence, which led to a sentence of three years in prison in 2010. NRWPO staff members, the letter claims, were intimidated and their houses burned down, leading 18 of them to flee to Thailand.

Heng was not reachable by phone yesterday.

In a separate case, Hean said he received a copy of a letter from 48 families in Oral district to the Ministry of Environment asking the government to clearly demarcate protected areas and investigate illegal logging.

The families, Hean said, approached the NRWPO on September 28 asking that their allegations of officials conspiring to log protected forest be forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Unit.

Hean said he was holding the letter until the ministry had done an official investigation.

Officials have not taken action in a similar case lodged with the ACU in 2010.

Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2011 awarded more than 17,000 hectares in the sanctuary to private companies for agro-industrial development.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being