The five, including Ouch Leng, a 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner, were detained by rangers on Friday for being inside the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary without permission, Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said.The Kratie Provincial Court court had released the five who signed an agreement not to enter restricted areas without permission, Neth Pheaktra said. A case has also been filed against Ouch Leng Cambodian Human Rights Task Force for not being registered with the Interior Ministry, he said.Ouch Leng told he was released because he did not do anything wrong.”A prosecutor said there is no crime and told us to go home,” Ouch Leng said.The activists still intended to go back to the sanctuary even if permission was not granted, he said.The activists had mounted a campaign at Prey Lang last month, posting signs saying “don cut down trees” and placing Buddhist robes on trees to protect the sanctuary, Ouch Leng said.”They detained us so that they could take our cameras, pictures and phones so that we don report logging crimes,” he said.A report by Global Witness said Prey Lang which is home to endangered plants and animals lost nearly a tenth of its forest cover in about two decades to 2018 and that illegal logging has escalated during the pandemic.Asked whether illegal logging was taking place in the sanctuary, Neth Pheaktra said any evidence should be presented to the ministry.(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Ed Davies and Angus MacSwan)South Korea seeks to reassure ageing residents after raising COVID 19 vaccine questionsWith one of the fastest ageing populations in the world, South Korea this week sought to reassure elderly residents as it said it would push ahead with AstraZeneca’s COVID 19 vaccine but is still examining its efficacy for people older than 65. A panel of South Korean advisers has urged caution over the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people older than 65, citing a lack of data, the food and drug safety ministry said last week.
“If the United Kingdom is not willing to deliver vaccine supplies to Europe then why should we deliver those to the United Kingdom?,” he said, referring to Belgium’s Pfizer plant. The UK used emergency powers to accelerate market approval of the vaccine. “We made a choice to not make any shortcuts, when it comes to safety or efficacy.
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