Mother Nature Activists Convicted, Released on Suspended SentencePublished on July 1, 2016
Three environmental activists from NGO Mother Nature were released this afternoon after being convicted and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment this morning. Their 10 months and 15 days' pre-trial detention was considered time-served, with the rest of the sentence suspended.
Try Sovikea, 26; Sun Mala, 24; and Sim Samnang, 29, were tried over two days earlier this week by Koh Kong provincial court. This morning, they were convicted by Judge Min Meakra with threatening to cause destruction, defacement or damage followed by an order under Articles 28 and 424 of the Criminal Code – charges brought after the three were arrested last year amid an ongoing campaign to end alleged illegal sand dredging in Koh Kong. Throughout the trial, little to no evidence of their guilt was presented.
The three have been held in pre-trial detention since their arrest in August 2015 – amounting to 11 days longer than the legal pre-trial detention limit. In addition to their prison sentence, the three men were also ordered to pay a two million riel (about $500) fine and 100 million riel (about $25,000) compensation payment.