Official’s Bodyguard Allegedly Kills Thief

The bodyguard of Ministry of Defense Secretary of State Chay Saing Yun allegedly shot and killed a thief early Sunday, police confirmed Monday.

The victim, 16-year-old Sok Siyath, allegedly stole a loudspeaker from the award-winning health NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres, which is near the bodyguard’s home in the Prampi Makara district of Phnom Penh.

The victim was shot once in the head as he climbed down from the fence at the NGO, said Yim Symany, district police chief. He said he sent all the evidence to the court and is awaiting orders to make an arrest.

Local human rights group Adhoc, however, criticized the event as another in a string of alleged “extrajudicial” killings, where officials often go unpunished for crimes in Cambodia. “Even a thief has the right to live,” said Chan Soveth, head of monitoring at Adhoc.

“The authorities should find a way to arrest him. They can shoot into the air just as easily.”

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