Digital surveillance increasingly used to oppress civil society, rights groups say

Zoom users having a meeting on the app in Phnom Penh, June 28. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

As authorities jail multiple activists for their online speech, rights groups and civil society members are decrying the government’s digital surveillance and criminalization of speech.

US pulls funding for multi-million dollar Prey Lang project

Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, pictured, has reportedly been the site of continued illegal logging despite US funding for the forest's protection. JSC

The United States is ending its financial support for the multi-million dollar “Greening Prey Lang” project, accusing Cambodian authorities of failing to prevent illegal logging and of targeting local communities who have tried to monitor ongoing deforestation.

New organized crime report accuses public-private partnership of illegal logging of Prey Lang

The new Think Biotech/Angkor Plywood sawmill in the immediate vicinity of Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. All photographs are screenshots from the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime report.

An international advocacy group tracking organized crime has accused the Cambodian government of overlooking, and at times actively protecting illegal logging groups driving severe deforestation in the ecologically significant Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Prey Lang patrollers criticize US claim it supported the forest group

The Prey Lang Community Network lambasted the USAID funded Greening Prey Lang project for claiming to support the patrol group, adding that the US agency has instead kept the group away from forest protection projects.

Environment Ministry enabling deforestation by preventing patrols, PLCN says

Timber seized from the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary is stored at a government building in Kratie province. Panha Chhorpoan

The Prey Lang Community Network has alleged that the Environment Ministry’s attempts to protect the forest, even conduct tree blessing ceremonies, was a ruse to distract from the rampant illegal logging occurring in the protected Prey Lang forest.