Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 8 – A staunch environmental Spanish activist who has been deported from Cambodia after his expired visa was not extended said he was planning to return to face a legal case prepared against him by Koh Kong provincial court, but the government said they would not allow that.

President of a local environment organization, Mother Nature, Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson, known as Alex, last week, released a statement objecting that Koh Kong’s provincial court’s legal case against him was ungrounded. “Our anti-sand dredging campaign was in line with the non-violence principle and the Constitution of Kingdom of Cambodia,” he said in the statement.

Alex is therefore seeking ways to return to Cambodia to face the court case. However, Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Gen. Khiev Sopheak, said on Feb. 8 that the law does not allow deported foreigner to return. “Alex has been banned and Cambodia does not welcome him. Legally speaking, once a foreigner gets deported, he or she could not return,” Gen. Sopheak explained.

Alex was deported from Cambodia in Feb. 2015 after he had been linked to a series of advocacy activities against sand dredging in Areng region, Koh Kong province, about 300 km southwest of Phnom Penh, deemed as illegal by the government. Three Cambodian members of his organization have also been detained.