Khmer Thavrak
Activists protest in Phnom Penh on September 7, 2020, in a photo posted to the Facebook page of the Khmer Student Intelligent League Association.

Mother Nature, Khmer Thavrak Activists Appear in Court to Appeal Cases

A jailed Mother Nature environmentalist and Khmer Thavrak activist appeared at the Appeal Court on Tuesday, where a judge denied requests to drop their cases or grant bail, while three female activists from the groups were unable to attend due to flooding in their prison.

Eng Malai, also known as So Metta, participates in a protest in Phnom Penh on September 8, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Before Her Arrest, Khmer Thavrak Activist Spoke of Jail, Love for Nation

Khmer Thavrak started from a core group of about 30 activists in January, Metta explained, with small groups of four or five people sporadically joining over the past nine months. She too joined that way: Metta worked as a chef in a Kratie restaurant, and later in a Chinese restaurant in Phnom Penh, but she was always following social issues in the news.

Protesters in Phnom Penh walk past a UN vehicle on September 7, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Activist Tailed by Police, Sought Help From UN Before Arrest

A group of four Khmer Thavrak protesters believed their tuk-tuk was being tailed by police and asked the driver to make random turns before heading to a U.N. office for help. Eventually, one of the four was arrested outside her home, another member said.

Khmer Thavrak activist Hun Vannak clashes with Prampi Makara district authorities during a rally in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 13, 2020. (Khan Leakhena/VOD)

Youth Activist Group Plans 8-Day Protest After Two Members Jailed

The youth activist group that has been largely driving this month’s protests in support of unionist Rong Chhun will again attempt to hold a demonstration against the arrests of government critics — including two of its members now in jail — early next month.