Cambodia: 18 environmental defenders prevented to stage an event by local authoritiesEvent
- Initial Date
- Jun 3, 2020
- Event Description
Today, on 3 June 2020, a group of 18 youth environmental activists were banned from cycling from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by Koh Kong district authorities. The activists were taking part in a campaign to �Save Koh Kong Krao Island� where they were attempting to cycle to the capital to submit a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen. Their petition requests the government to classify Kong Kong Krao island as a protected national sea park to enable it to preserve its natural resources.
When authorities interfered with the procession, each activist was required to undergo a temperature check. Activists refused the authorities request to present their identity cards, however agreed to write and submit a list of their names. The authorities also wanted to review their petition and asked them to thumbprint a letter declaring that they would not submit the petition to the local authority � but the activists refused both requests. At around 11:30am 10 of their bicycles were taken by Koh Kong district police. At around 2:00pm Koh Kong district police invited all the activists to have a discussion over the confiscation of their bicycles, requesting to meet with one activist at a time, but they refused the police�s request because they had already informed the authorities of the purpose of their campaign.
Koh Kong provincial hall spokesman Sok Sothy told The Post that authorities had taken the bicycles and blocked the group from moving forward because they had not cooperated with the authorities.
“We asked them to come in for a Covid-19 screening and they did not cooperate,” he said. He said the group had gathered without legal permission.
“They said they want to submit the petition to Samdach, but the government has announced a ban on large gatherings. They come from many groups and areas, including Koh Kong, Battambang and Preah Sihanouk and we have to restrain them,” he said.
Sothy said if the youth group intended to submit a petition to Hun Sen, they should have submitted a letter to the provincial administration to follow up on their journey and avoid any unpleasant incidents.
He said if the group had cooperated with the authorities from the beginning, there would have been no problems.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Administrative Harassment
- Restrictions on Movement
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of movement
- Environmental rights defender
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 3 June 2020, 18 environmental defenders were prevented by the police to stage an event part of a campaign aimed at asking the Prime Minister to preserve a natural site in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia.