The questioning of three environmental activists arrested in Koh Kong province in August and detained in prison ever since has been extended for another two months, according to local NGO Mother Nature.
Mother Nature’s Thun Rotha said the provincial court issued a notice announcing that the investigation into Try Sovikea, Sun Mala and Lem Samnang would continue, with the activists to face further questioning.
“Now four months of questioning and investigation is finished, but the court will continue for another two months . . . We need the court to release them on bail,” he said. “We [Mother Nature activists] do not do anything wrong; we just try to protect the environment for everyone.”
The three activists were arrested over their anti-sand dredging activities and charged with threatening to cause destruction, defacement or damage and ordering others to do so. They were denied bail in September.
The Koh Kong Provincial Court could not be reached for comment yesterday.
On Wednesday, Mother Nature and the Cambodian Youth Network wrote to the Singaporean Embassy to request a meeting to discuss Singapore’s role in purchasing sand from Cambodia.
“Fishing communities remain deeply concerned that the ongoing sand-mining operation in Koh Kong’s estuaries and creeks continues to cause serious impacts on their livelihoods, due to a decrease in fisheries and other environmental impacts,” the letter says.
The NGOs were still waiting for a response yesterday.