Shortly before a Cambodian-Canadian man was apparently stabbed to death at an airport in Laos, he told his family that he feared for his life after slighting Prime Minister Hun Sen, Canadian media reported Saturday.
Nara Pech, 28, was found dead at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos, on January 22, according to a Change.org petition set up by his sister, Sarena Armsworthy.
In a video posted to the website of Canada’s Global News, telephone messages purportedly left by Nara Pech to his family before his death suggest that someone was trying to harm him.
“I’m in Laos and they’re trying to hurt me. I need help, Dad. Call the embassy, please,” he says in one message.
“I’m at the Vientiane, Laos, airport. Apparently I said something bad about Hun Sen or something and everybody is trying to get me to leave the airport so they can kill me,” he says in another.
According to Ms. Armsworthy’s petition—which asks Canadian authorities to intervene in Nara Pech’s murder investigation currently in the hands of Laotian police—the death was officially ruled a suicide.
“Initially, we were informed by foreign affairs that he tried to kill himself by stabbing himself three times,” the petition says.
But after an independent autopsy was performed, it adds, it was determined that Nara Pech had been stabbed in the back, neck and forearm, and had cuts to his left hand and arm.
The Canadian Embassy in Bangkok could not be reached for comment.