International Urgent Appeal to Stop Judicial Harassment of and to Release Mother Nature activists

On 09 November 2015, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a joint programme of FIDH and OMCT) requested urgent intervention in the case of Sim Somnang, Tri Sovikea, and San Mala, members of NGO “Mother Nature”, a local environmental group known for its efforts to stop illegal sand dredging and the construction of a controversial hydropower dam in Koh Kong Province.
On November 4, 2015, an investigative judge questioned Sim Somnang, Tri Sovikea, and San Mala, who were arrested on August 17, 2015, for their involvement in protests against a company registered in Cambodia called “Direct Access”, accused of illegally dredging sand in Koh Kong Province. The three are accused of “threatening to cause destruction, defacement or damage” and “ordering others to do so” under Article 424 of the Cambodian Criminal Code. If convicted, they face up to two years in prison and a fine of 2-4 million KHR (between approx. 450 and 900 Euros).
The three environmental activists remain detained in Koh Kong provincial prison.
See below for the full version of the urgent appeal.