At a minimart near a Caltex gas station in downtown Phnom Penh, Heng Keoum Hong, 25, paid his respects to Kem Ley, a prominent political commentator who was assassinated in the same store three years ago. Hong becomes emotional when he thinks about the brutal murder that shocked a nation.
“It’s been a very big loss for us as youth and for all the people in Cambodia,” he said. “We lost a person who never feared to speak the truth.”
Alot has changed in Cambodia since the murder of Kem Ley, who was gunned down on July 10, 2016 by a man who said he owed him money. New laws have been implemented that restrict political activities — the country’s largest opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), has been dissolved and its president is under house arrest.