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Cambodian Human Rights Task Force - CHRTF -

CHRTF is a human rights NGO based in Cambodia.
Mr. Ouch Leng is the head of this NGO.
The CHRTF investigates and reports on illegal logging activities, particularly rosewood logging, by corrupt officials and business leaders in Cambodia.

CHRTF has produced three landmark reports on what it calls ' Cambodia's illegal logging crisis'.

The reports have exposed corruption within government agencies, and have called for the licenses of certain companies to be revoked.

Persecution against Mr. Ouch Leng

June 2015: Men in plain clothes, riding motorcycles looked for Mr. Ouch Leng at his house at night. September 2015: A CHRTF staff member is arrested in Koh Kong, following a peaceful protest against the Chinese company Union Development Group. He was interrogated about the whereabouts of Ouch Leng, and released after admitting he worked with him. Late 2015: As pressure and intimidation of Ouch Leng grows, he and his family move to a different province (using funds provided by international civil society supporters).

Supporting Mr. Ouch Leng

During his persecution, Ouch Leng remained in close contact with 'Civil Rights Defenders' South East Asia team.

He has applied for, and secured, two security grants from the European Union Human Rights Defenders Fund.

Grants have provided a lifeline for Ouch Leng. With this financial support, in August 2016 he was able to publish a third report on illegal logging.

In April 2016, Ouch Leng was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia. This helped him, inter alia, to: raise his profile (with important security benefits), strengthen his international networks and support and put pressure on corrupt officials and illegal loggers thanks to international media coverage.

MR. OUCH LENG CONTINUES TO DEFEND CAMBODIAN FORESTS.

In March 2020, he and three other forest defenders were arrested and questioned by the police after a South Korean company filed a complaint against them for exposing illegal logging in the Prey Lang forest. Even though they were released, the threats to the forests and its defenders continue to be a dangerous job in Cambodia.

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Credits:

1. Collin Key; Burning land; February 22, 2015: (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). 2. Mark; Tragedy of the forests; February 2, 2007; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 3. William Lee-Wright; deforestation_2; July 8, 2009; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). 4. Wikipedia. 5. Taken from The Goldman Environmental Prize.