Mother Nature Activist Returns After Fleeing

One of three environmental activists who fled the country in January to avoid perceived legal threats returned to Cambodia on Tuesday, crediting a calmer domestic climate.

“I think the situation right now seems to be quiet,” said Mother Nature activist San Mala.

Mr. Mala and colleagues Sim Samnang and Try Sovikea served 10 months in prison for threatening to destroy a barge belonging to a sand dredging company before being released in July.

The three fled Cambodia amid worries that prosecutors would be successful in efforts to reinstate their suspended sentences.

But the Appeal Court upheld the suspension last month, leading the group to consider returning from their undisclosed location.

“If I come here without any issues, they will follow,” he said.

Mr. Mala said he planned to visit the Koh Kong province communities where he had previously helped organize actions to protect natural resources.

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