Sorn Chandara, Dim Kundy and Chek Netra, three environmental activists of the network Mother Nature, were arrested last week while attempting to hold a peaceful demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.
Mother Nature’s activists were attempting to gather and submit a petition to the National Assembly to protest against controversial sand dredging activities in Sakor district, Koh Kong province.
The dredging operations have stirred up serious concern from environmentalists, tourism operators and villagers in the area, who claim that the project is severely damaging the mangroves system and the local environment.
One of the activists was reportedly slapped by a police officer while trying to prevent the confiscation of demonstration materials. They were released after few hours without charge.
The incident raises once again serious concerns with regard to the space for Cambodian citizens to exercise their fundamental freedoms.