Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists sentenced

Activists sentenced

Activists sentenced

Nine Prey Lang forest activists received suspended one-year prison sentences at Kampong Thom Provincial Court yesterday and were ordered to pay $1,250 to a businesswoman whose hectare of cassava they were accused of uprooting, the defendants’ lawyer said.

Yong Panith – who represents Mao Thea, 37; Meas Koeung, 20; Meas Vann, 25; Prom Suy, 68; Hem Hay, 25; Nuon Kin, 40; Duong Chay, 45; Sao Korn, 50; and Chheang Vuthy, 39 – said his clients found the decision unacceptable.

“They asked me to appeal, because the plaintiff has no evidence that they uprooted the cassava, so I am preparing documents to appeal,” he said.

Businesswoman Ol Ratha filed the complaint in 2011, but the defendants have always maintained that their role was limited to monitoring illegal logging in Prey Lang, the largest evergreen forest in mainland Southeast Asia.

“It is damn unjust,” said Mao Thea, one of the accused, adding that the nine had no money to pay compensation. “They have no proof to accuse us. Forest protectors are jailed and forest destroyers live happily.”

Ratha’s lawyer declined to comment yesterday.

Chhoum Run, a provincial monitor for Licadho, said he was worried the lawsuit was designed to intimidate activists into halting their work.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from