No Identification on Body Found in Prey Veng

There is still no word on the identity of a body unearthed Fri­day in Prey Veng province, al­though an official confirmed Sun­day that the government’s human rights panel is investigating.

Om Yentieng, a member of the government’s Cambodian Hu­man Rights Com­mission, said the panel is looking into the identity of the corpse. Rights workers suspect the corpse is of a monk killed last month during police crackdowns on demonstrators.

The senior adviser to Second Prime Minister Hun Sen declined to comment further, saying he did not want to make an as­sumption before the investigation ended.

A national police official said Sunday he had not received a pro­vincial police report. Efforts to reach Prey Veng police on Sun­day were unsuccessful.

Com­mune police officials on the scene of the exhumation Friday said they could not say whether the body was that of a monk or not.

Rights workers exhumed the body Friday in a remote village in Prey Veng after monks pulled it out of the Mekong River and buried it last month.

Monks there speculated that the body could be one of their colleagues because of his shaved head and eyebrows.

The UN reported a monk was beaten to death Sept 9 in clashes between police and demonstrators in front of the US Embassy.

The human rights group Ad­hoc reported that a monk was beaten to death on Sept 7 in front of the Hotel Sofitel Cambodiana.

However, neither group has connected a body to the alleged fatal monk beatings.

The UN is investigating reports of more than 20 bodies suspected of being those of missing opposition demonstrators.


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