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Mother Nature activists due for prison release

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The activists were jailed after taking pictures of alleged sand dredging in Koh Kong province. Supplied

Two Mother Nature activists who were convicted of incitement to commit a felony and violation of privacy by Koh Kong Provincial Court may be released today following the completion of their five-month prison terms.

The two environmental activists, Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, are being detained in Prek Svay prison in Koh Kong province.

They were arrested in September after they photographed alleged sand dredging at a beach in Prek Khsach district. A complaint was filed against them by the company of tycoon Ly Yong Phat.

On January 26, presiding judge Keo Sokha sentenced the pair to one year each, with a seven-month suspended sentence.

Mr Kundy’s mother Doung Saktheary said yesterday that according to the date of detention, her son should be released from prison today.

“They will be released on February 13, but I do not know what time because I only got the information from their lawyer,” she said. “Now I am travelling to wait and take them from the provincial prison.”

Sam Chamroeun, a defence lawyer for the two Mother Nature activists, said that as of yesterday afternoon, he had not yet seen an order for the release of his clients.

“It has not been received yet,” he said. “We will wait and see what happens on Tuesday.”

Koh Kong Provincial Court prosecutor Iv Tray could not be reached for comment and Touch Sovannara, head of administration at the provincial court, declined to comment.

Director of Koh Kong Provincial Prison Kry Buntha said that the prison has not yet received an order to release the two activists. “The court decided to detain them on September 13, so according to the procedure, that’s until February 13,” he said. “But so far, the court has not yet sent an order to release them. When we get it, we will release them immediately.”

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