PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – A leading international environmental and human rights group has called on the Cambodian government to investigate an attack on a young forest activist who was slashed with a machete while she slept in a hammock after patrolling for illegal loggers.
Global Witness said the 23-year-old Phan Sopheak was injured on her feet in the March 26 attack by unidentified perpetrators in Kratie province. Phan Sophek is a member of the Prey Lang Community Network, a grassroots movement in northeastern Cambodia.
Kratie province deputy police chief Oum Phy said Tuesday that police were investigating the case and that the attacker had not been found.
Josie Cohen of Global Witness said members of Cambodia's political and business elite routinely flout forest protection laws and pillage them for valuable timber.