PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – People camped outside of the Koh Kong Provincial Court in protest of the arrest and detention of three Mother Nature activists are claiming that the government is intentionally shutting off their water supply as retribution.
One of the protesters, Neak Sopheap, said normally, the people protesting outside of the court are allowed to use water from Tiruomkhet Primary School.
But in the past week, the government has shut off water at the school, leaving protesters scrambling for a water source.
“I asked why the people in charge shut off the water at The TiruomKhet primary school, and he said his boss told him to cut the water off. We now use water from people who live near here for cooking,” she said.
“I will try to negotiate with other people to get the water back, but we will still stay here until they release the three activists, although they are doing anything in their power to evict us,” she added.
Bun Leut, Koh Kong Provincial Governor, said he didn’t know anything about the issue.
In Kongchet, Koh Kong coordinator for the rights group Licadho, said he was concerned about the health of the protesters. He said they will get sick if they don’t have water to use.
“The authorities try to apply pressure to them in order to urge them to leave and stop protesting. It is an inhumane act and a serious human rights violation,” he said.
Since August 18, about 50 people have protested in front of the Koh Kong provincial court demanding the release of the environmental activists, arrested for threats they made and their role in protests against Vietnamese companies dredging sand in a local river.