Two forest activists from Kratie province receive death threats from the authorities

Created Date : 12 / Apr / 2013
Nature of Violation : Death Threats
Rights Involved : Forest Activists and Land


Two forest activists from Kratie province received death threatson 5 April 2013 as a result of their activism and forest patrolling activities.Mr. Sorn Siyan and Ms. Mom Sakin, representatives of a community in Snuoldistrict, have been working to put an end to illegal logging in their area formore than a decade. After their latest intervention at the beginning of April,the two activists each received death threats via telephone.Between 15 March and 20 March 2013, 40 community activists,including Sorn Siyan and Mom Sakin, confiscated 11 chainsaws used to cut treesillegally in the forested areas of Peam Chra, Tak Tal, Chrong, Dong Rek and Au Tyongin Snuol district, Kratie province. Afterwards the activists persuaded theowner of the chainsaws to sign a contract, which stated that the machinerywould no longer be used for illegal logging in the area. On 25March 2013, the two community activists again led other members of theircommunity to patrol the forest and seized six more chainsaws, which were then depositedwith Forest Administration officials. On 1 April 2013, Sorn Siyan and MomSakin led around 100 community activists to patrol the forest over five days.During this period, they confiscated seven chainsaws, which were again handedover to the Forest Administration officials. The activists also discovered 14 piecesof luxury timber, equivalent to seven meters cubed. After reporting this to theForest Administration, the activists jointly agreed to burn the precious woodwhen no action had been taken by the authorities. Overall, from15 March to the beginning of April 2013, SornSiyan and Mom Sakinreported seizing 24 chainsaws and one tractor.As a result of their forest patrollingefforts, the entire community faced pressureand threats from illegal loggers as well as from officials who allegedly havevested interests in illegal logging in the area. The most recentof these threats came on 5 April 2013 when Sorn Siyan received a call from a formerhigh-ranking police officer in Snuol District (and currently head of the policein Chet Borei district), warning all the activists - and especially theirleaders - that the property they had confiscated and destroyedcan be replaced but that their lives, once taken, cannot be returned. Onthe same day, as they left the forest after patrolling, both Mom Sakin and SornSiyan were also threatened by the illegal loggers, who said that they wouldkill them if they continued their work.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact CCHR Human RightsDefenders Project Coordinator Suon Bunthoeun via telephone at +855 (0)12 48 35 46 or e-mail at [email protected].