On 10 July 2016, Kem Ley, one of Cambodia’s best known political commentators, was drinking his morning coffee at a petrol station cafe in the capital Phnom Penh when a man walked in and opened fire, killing him instantly.
The gunman – who gave his name as “Chuob Samlab” (Meet to Kill) – was arrested soon after when members of the public chased him down and beat him. Later identified as Oeuth Ang, he claimed that he had killed Kem Ley over an unpaid debt. Few believed him.
The murder sent shockwaves around the country, with many seeing Kem Ley’s death as a return to the dark days of political assassinations in the Southeast Asian nation.
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