Funcinpec Activist Found, Dead, in Kandal

The body of Funcinpec activist missing for a week was found dead Sunday morning in Kandal province, party officials and rights workers said. The body showed signs of severe torture.

Mom Samean, Kandal pro­vince police chief, said a body was found and police were “80 percent certain” it was Thong So­phal, a Funcinpec campaigner re­cently reported missing.

Funcinpec Campaign Manager May Sam Oeun said there was no doubt the body discovered near a canal in Russey Chroy commune, Muk Kampul district was 45-year-old Thong Sophal. He said the flesh had been stripped off his legs, his left ear and fingers cut off and he had suffered a severe blow to the left side of his head.

A human rights official said after a preliminary examination, the cause of death was believed to be torture. No gunshot wounds were found.

Police investigating his disappearance discovered the body, Mom Samean said. Near the body was a vial of poison or a drug and a water bottle containing pesticide, he said. His department is investigating the case, Mom Samean added.

May Som Oeun said he be­lieves the killing is politically motivated. Thong Sophal, a resident of Kandal province, was active in Funcinpec and had visited the party headquarters in Phnom Penh several times, May Som Oeun said.

He is survived by a wife and seven children.

Also, police have not identified suspects in the allegedly political slaying of Sam Rainsy Party worker Em Eam, 62, found in a shallow grave June 19 at a rubber plantation in Kom­pong Cham’s Tbong Khmum district, local police said Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Touch Rotha)


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