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Prosecutors Release Damning Evidence Against “Mother Nature” Activists

Phnom Penh: In the case against the three “Mother Nature” activists, who were charged in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday, prosecutors have shared video evidence against the three, which purportedly shows them mocking His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The video first emerged on the Facebook page of a group calling itself “Defeat the Traitors" and dates back to a Zoom meeting in May.

In the video, “Mother Nature” founder, Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson is seen discussing the king and the Royal Cambodian Government with Yim Leang Hy, Sun Ratha and Ly Chandaravuth, who appeared in court yesterday. Davidson was charged in absentia, having been deported last year.

Prosecutors have been quick to point out that during the group’s Zoom meeting, protection of the environment was not discussed, but what they are calling “treason” was. In the video clip, Davidson is heard calling the king “Api Sihamoni", which loosely translates in English to “damn the king”, but is deeply offensive in Khmer. It is also in contravention of Cambodia’s ‘lese majeste’ laws, which make it a crime to insult the crown.

The video is just one piece of evidence that investigators have gathered, with prosecutors alleging that the group was using the pretext of environmental activism to plot the overthrow of the government. The group’s next court date has not been set, but if convicted of the charges against them they each face a jail term of at least 10 years.

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