PHNOM PENH – Cambodian Immigration Police arrested Out Spoken Activist Spanish National Alex Gonzalez-Davidson Monday afternoon, hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen said the country will deport him for invalid visa.
“He was arrested at 1:15 p.m. at a restaurant along the riverside in Phnom Penh,” said Am Sam Ath, a senior investigator for the rights group Licadho, which monitored the case, adding that currently, Gonzalez-Davidson is being detained at the General Department of Immigration.
At a graduation ceremony at the National University of Management on Monday morning, Hun Sen said the country will arrest and deport Gonzalez-Davidson who refused to leave the country after his visa expired last Friday.
“Cambodia is a sovereign state, which cannot be violated,” he said. “Undoubtedly, you must leave Cambodia since your visa has expired.”
The government has refused to renew visa for Gonzalez-Davidson, co-founder of non-governmental organization Mother Nature, because he and other activists last year illegally blocked a road to prevent a government convoy from reaching the site of a proposed hydropower dam in Koh Kong province.
The Interior Ministry’s General Department of Immigration on Friday sent Gonzalez-Davidson a letter informing him that his visa renewal request was denied.
On Monday morning Gonzalez-Davidson was unavailable to comment but Mala, a co-founder of Mother Nature who was also later arrested, said support for his colleague in the Cambodian community was absolute.