Mother Nature
Mother Nature activist Sun Ratha stands in front of a pile of trash on the beach in Sihanoukville in a screenshot from a video posted to Facebook on January 24, 2020.

Jailed Environmentalists Further Charged With Plotting, Insulting King

Three Mother Nature environmentalists arrested last year and already serving jail terms for incitement have been handed two further charges, insulting the king and plotting, which carry maximum jail sentences of five and 10 years respectively, their lawyer said.

A Mother Nature Cambodia activist in disguise while filming a video released in November 2020 (Mother Nature Cambodia)

Interior Ministry Defends Arrests of Mother Nature Activists

Mother Nature activists were “gathering strength for an uprising” as evidenced by a Zoom conference where they insulted government leaders and the king, while three arrested activists acknowledged they wanted people to rise up, the Interior Ministry said.

Mother Nature activist Sun Ratha stands in front of a pile of trash on the beach in Sihanoukville in a screenshot from a video posted to Facebook on January 24, 2020.

Mother Nature Arrests Criticized, Gov’t-Linked Media Posts ‘Evidence’

International rights groups and embassies raised concerns over the recent arrests of Mother Nature environmentalists, as a government-aligned media outlet posted alleged evidence of a Zoom meeting where the activists appear to discuss a cartoon sketch of Prime Minister Hun Sen wearing a crown.

Phuon Keoreaksmey outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on May 5, 2021. (Sok Chantravuth/VOD)

Embassies, Rights Advocates Decry Mother Nature Verdict

Foreign embassies and rights advocates have decried the sentencing of three members of an environmentalist group to more than a year in prison over their activism, with some, including the group’s founder, saying they should be released and their calls for environmental protection supported rather than criminalized.