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Ratanakkiri forest activist faces logging charge

Ratanakkiri forest activist faces logging charge

A forest activist from the ethnic Tumpuon community in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district is set to appear at the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary bureau today for questioning over alleged unauthorised logging and forest clearing in the sanctuary.

The summons from the sanctuary office dated September 14, signed by bureau chief San Sany, ordered Kham Nin, a forest activist from the Keng San community, to clarify a case concerning forestry crime.

Kham Nin is known for filing a complaint to Ratanakiri provincial court against local officials and his ethnic community leader as well as other senior officials from relevant institutions who had allegedly ignored logging and forest clearing for private ownership.

Nhor Angkuot village chief Keng San said some villagers who had cleared the forest and then sold the land to outsiders were the ones who have filed a complaint to environment officials against Nin.

He said this was a warning for his repeated whistle-blowing, as he usually reported their illegal activities to news outlets which then disseminated information to provincial and national authorities.

“Kham Nin has cleared dozens of hectares of land to plant cashew. He has made profits to build a house and buy new motorbikes. Later on, villagers also started to clear the forest, with some selling the land to outsiders.

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