Human rights groups in and outside of Cambodia are calling for the immediate release of Mother Nature activists who were detained for filming a sewage flow near the Royal Palace.
Mother Nature members Sun Ratha 26, and Yim Leanghy 32, were arrested on June 16 while documenting the flow of raw sewage in the Tonle Sap river. Their colleague Ly Chandaravuth, 22, was arrested in Kandal province. They were charged with plotting an attack against the state and insulting the king. The group’s founder, Spanish citizen Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, was charged in absentia.
This is not the first time that Mother Nature members have faced prosecution for their advocacy. Authorities arrested Phoun Keo Reaksmey, 19, Thun Ratha, 29, and Long Kunthea, 22, in September 2020 for planning a walk to the prime minister’s residence as part of a campaign opposing the planned privatization and reclamation of Boeung Tamok lake in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. The three were convicted in May.