Four years after environmental activist Chut Wutty was gunned down while investigating illegal logging in Koh Kong province, a film depicting the final months of his life—banned in Cambodia—will be screened across the globe today.
According to a statement from Not1More, a newly launched global support network for environmental defenders, “I am Chut Wutty” will be screened in countries including the U.K., Thailand, Iceland and Guinea-Bissau. It will also be made available for free on the film’s Facebook page for 24 hours.
Last week, plans to show the film at Meta House in Phnom Penh—where it premiered in 2014—were scrapped on the orders of the Culture Ministry, which has since banned it altogether. Despite the ban, the Flicks movie house has said it plans to screen the film at an undisclosed location in the city today.
Chut Wutty was shot dead on April 26, 2012, during an argument with military police in Koh Kong while investigating illegal logging alongside two Cambodia Daily reporters. An official investigation—which concluded that military police officer In Ratana had shot the 46-year-old dead before being shot and killed by another officer—was slammed by rights groups as cursory and careless. The Koh Kong Provincial Court eventually dropped the charges against the surviving officer.
Contacted on Monday, Chut Wutty’s son, 25-year-old Cheuy Oudom Reaksmey, said he was still searching for justice. “I don’t know why [the] government hates my father and is scared to screen” the film, Mr. Oudom Reaksmey said.
“I want the government to reopen the case, but I don’t believe in the courts in Cambodia because the courts are not independent…. I am collecting evidence and will send it to the ICC,” he said, referring to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“I think the person who killed my father was some high-ranking official in the government. I want the government to find out who ordered the killing of my father.”