The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to its Thai counterpart on Tuesday, protesting the killings of five Cambodian nationals in Thailand last weekend and urged authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice, according to a statement released Wednesday.
“Support and cooperation from Thai authorities…to investigate this incident is most important for keeping friendship, trust and mutual understanding between both countries,” the statement said.
Local rights group Adhoc has also issued a statement to Thai Ambassador Piyawat Niyomrerk condemning the killings and urging a “serious investigation.”
“I worry in the future…that this kind of killing could increase hatred between the two peoples,” Adhoc president Thun Saray said by phone Wednesday.
Five Cambodians, including one woman who was eight months pregnant, were shot Saturday morning at a Thai furniture company where they worked.
Their bodies were returned to Cambodia on Tuesday afternoon.
Attempts to contact Thai Embassy officials were unsuccessful Wednesday.
The Thai company that employed the five victims has paid just over $250, to each of their five families to cover funeral expenses, said Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Sareth, deputy chief of the Cambodian-Thai border coordination office.
In the wake of the killings, 73 Cambodians living and working illegally in Thailand were returned to Cambodia by their Thai employers on Monday, officials said.
The 73 were sent from Thailand’s Rayong province to the border checkpoint at Daung in Battambang province, said Kong Lundi, immigration police chief at the Daung checkpoint.
“They all praised their Thai boss as good and gentle,” Kong Lundi said. “He had taken care of all the Cambodian workers.”