Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mother Nature activists’ appeal rejected

Mother Nature activists’ appeal rejected

Protestors wait for the verdict of the three Mother Nature activist arrested for allegedly trying to destroy property of a dredging company outside Appeals Court yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Protestors wait for the verdict of the three Mother Nature activist arrested for allegedly trying to destroy property of a dredging company outside Appeals Court yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Mother Nature activists’ appeal rejected

The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the conviction of three environmental activists from the group Mother Nature for allegedly threatening to burn sand-dredging equipment, citing a lack of evidence to back up their testimony that they made no such threats.

The three men - Sun Mala, Try Sovikea and Sim Somnang - were found guilty in July and let off on time served, after spending more than 10 months in prison. They were also ordered to pay $25,000 in compensation for the alleged threats.

Their appeal hearing took place late last month, with neither the defendants who fled the country ahead of the appeal – nor their lawyers – present. Written requests to call more witnesses were rejected out of hand, with presiding judge Sin Visal saying sufficient witnesses were heard in the initial trial.

Visal yesterday said that the activists had no evidence to prove that they didn’t threaten the dredgers, and maintained that there was video evidence proving their guilt. A monitor at the trio’s initial trial, however, said that videos presented in court showed nothing constituting a threat.

“What they have done was a crime,” Visal said. “The decision of the Koh Kong Provincial Court is justifiable.”

Defendant Sun Mala yesterday maintained his innocence, calling the Appeal Court’s decision unjust. He added that the three would consider filing a Supreme Court appeal.

“However, the Appeal Court’s decision is not bringing us back to jail, [which] is a positive sign for us to continue our work as before,” he added.


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal