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Groups Want Prosecutions in Timber Crackdown

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Rights groups on Friday praised the government for a recent crackdown on illegal logging.

Rights groups on Friday praised the government for a recent crackdown on illegal logging but said they want those arrested in the ongoing operation to be prosecuted without political bias.

Arrests are continuing in a sweep of border provinces where illegal logging still takes place, and Prime Minister Hun Sen sacked the head of the government’s forestry administration earlier this week.

But members of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee told reporters Friday Cambodia still lacks the proper law enforcement and management to conserve what is left of the country’s forests.

In Nam, a representative for a forest community in Kampong Thom province, told reporters Friday he had watched the environment around him deteriorate. When he was a boy, the forest had elephants and tigers, he said. “Now all are lost.”

“I urge the Cambodian government to crack down on illegal logging at its roots,” he said.

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