Mother NatureDocument Joint Open Letter: Seeking Clarification Regarding Sand Exports
October 31, 2016
We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write to His Excellency Mr. Suy Sem, the Minister of Mines and Energy, to request clarification regarding sand exported overseas by Cambodia from 2007 to 2015. A Ministry spokesman has been quoted as saying that Cambodia’s global sand exports amounted to just over 17 million tons between 2007 and 2015. However, the only official export data issued to date by the Cambodian government in relation to sand exports, from the Ministry of Commerce, only discloses sand exports to Singapore for the same period, totaling about 2.8 million tons. The Cambodian government is yet to explain to which other countries it is exporting sand to, or at what price this sand is being sold for.
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.
February 15, 2016
In response to the latest unjust charges brought against three further members of the environmental NGO Mother Nature, we, the undersigned civil society organizations (CSOs), declare our support for Mother Nature, and condemn the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s crackdown on the organization and Cambodian civil society in general.
December 17, 2015
To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), about 10,000 people from rural and urban communities participated in 20 marches and events across the country from December 6 to December 10. These were organized by the informal network Friends of December 10th, which includes youth, land communities, associations, farmers, monks, and NGOs. On December 10, groups peacefully marched from various locations in Phnom Penh toward the Ministry of Justice to demand that the government resolve Cambodia’s land conflict epidemic; reform the judicial system and release human rights defenders and activists; raise the minimum wage and respect labour rights; end state-sponsored violence; and respect freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. This year’s IHRD theme was ‘Justice’.
September 2, 2015
ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC are outraged by the detention of 17 protestors, NGO staff and media workers in Koh Kong's provincial police station and call for their immediate release. The 17 were detained in the midst of a gathering calling for a solution to Chi Khor Krom community’s land conflict. The gathering involved 50 youths and land activists who had also participated in daily peaceful protests against the arrest and imprisonment of three activists from NGO Mother Nature since August 19.
February 17, 2015
We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the recent decision to deny a visa renewal for prominent environmental activist Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson. Mr Gonzalez-Davidson has been at the forefront of a campaign by local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Mother Nature, to halt the controversial development of a hydroelectric dam in Areng valley, Koh Kong province.