NGOs Demand Full Investigation of FTU Slaying

The police must thoroughly investigate Saturday’s killing of Free Trade Union official Hy Vuthy, three local rights groups said in a statement Monday.

Hy Vuthy, 36, was shot dead early Saturday morning as he drove home in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district from the Suntex garment factory, where he was FTU president.

In a joint statement, Adhoc, Licadho and the Cambodian Center for Human Rights called on police to bring the killers to justice.

Naly Pilorge, Licadho director, said by telephone that while the motives for the killing remained unclear, the methods used matched those used in the 2004 slayings of FTU president Chea Vichea and Ros Sovannareth, also an FTU leader at a garment factory.

“The pattern of the killings, if you look at them, is the same. A motorcycle, two people with no helmets, shoot,” she said.

Chuop Sok Heng, deputy police chief in Dangkao district, said police are doing their best to solve the union official’s killing, though he admitted that police have no motive and no suspects.

Deputy National Police Commis­sioner Sok Phal declined comment on the case.

Var Sopheak, Hy Vuthy’s widow, said her Dangkao district home had been circled by motorbikes at 7:30 pm on Sunday, causing her to turn off her lights in fear. On Saturday evening, men on motorcycles had hurled stones at her house, she added.

“I am very concerned for the security and future of my children,” she said.

Var Sopheak said she has asked Licadho for assistance in lodging a police complaint about the killing of her husband and also for help in seeking asylum abroad.

Naly Pilorge said Var Sopheak and Licadho staff had discussed lodging a complaint but that there had been no request for assistance with it and no discussion of asylum.

“We’re going to monitor her family’s wellbeing very closely,” she added.


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