20th June 2008
Radio Free Asia
Translated by Khmerization
A Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) activist from Kampong Reap Leu, Kampong Reap commune in Koh Sotin district of Kampong Cham province was murdered in the evening of 19th June at 11:30 PM, when he left his home for an unknown destination.
Mrs Kheang Hoeun, a sister of the victim, said that the victim, Mr. Kheang Sok Chea, was a widower who left his home at 8 PM with the possession of US$3,000 in cash. She said before leaving the house the victim had a phone conversation with someone but she did not know who that person was.
Mrs said: “They stabbed him, they chopped him, they chopped his skull…then they stabbed and stabbed. He got about US$3,000 in his possession.”
According to the victim’s neighbours who want to remain anonymous said that the victim is a motorcycle salesman who live in Kampong Speu village. He said: “I saw the victim riding the motorcycle very fast back and forth here at about 11 PM.”
President of the SRP for Kampong Cham province, Mr. Mao Monivann, said that the victim is a secretary of the commune from the SRP. He cannot assume whether this case is a case of political or robbery killing, however, he asks the authority to strengthen the security for the people and political activists.
Mr. Mao Monivann said: “This is an act which will negatively impact on the upcoming election.”
The local authority has said that this case is a case of robbery killing. Mr Top Toch, chief of Kampong Reap commune said that the victim’s body was dumped in a ditch in Kampong Reap Leu village and his motorcycle was dumped in the Mekong River, more than 3 kilometres from the body of the victim, and his corpse was only found by fishermen on the morning of the 20th of June.
The commune chief said that, the robbers did not steal his motorbike but they took all his money. And at 12 midday, the day after the murder, the authority had arrested 4 people from the same village. He said: “Four suspects had been arrested.”
Mr. Huy Sophal, president of the human right group in Kampong Cham province called Vigilante Group, said that any killings of political activists close to the election, whether it is politically motivated or not, can impact on the election process.
It must be noted that just in this June two murders of political activists have been committed in Kampong Cham. A few weeks ago a Human Right Party activist was murdered in Koh Samrong village but until now the perpetrators have not been apprehended yet. And now the SRP activist has been murdered in Koh Sotin. //