Threats against Global Witness

Global Witness, a UK-based NGO which is particularly active in the protection of the environment and natural resources, has been threatened and censured by the Cambodian government.

On 01 June 2007, Global Witness released a report titled “Cambodia’s Family Trees: Illegal logging and the stripping of public assets by Cambodia’s elite.” It notably accuses members of the Cambodian “kleptocratic elite” of massive environmental plunder and participation in a logging syndicate, and denounces the illegal destruction of Cambodia’s forests carried out by family members and business associates of senior government officials.

The Cambodian Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, issued a statement on 03 June 2007 stating that the government was banning the Global Witness report and would confiscate any copies found in the country.

On 04 June 2007, Mr. Hun Neng, Kompong Cham, provincial Governor and the Prime Minister’s brother, declared that he was considering taking legal action over the allegations made in the report. He added that if Global Witness’s members came to Cambodia, he would “hit them until their heads are broken”.


LRWC letter written 16 July 2007 by Gail Davidson.