Two More Mysterious Corpses Found Outside of Phnom Penh

Human rights workers found two bodies, both with hands bound behind their backs, floating in water at two separate sites Sunday. At least one body bore signs of torture, but neither could be identified.

The discoveries bring to four the number of mysterious corp­ses found since the crackdown on opposition demonstrations began last week.

The bodies found Sunday were not immediately linked to the demonstrations.

“This kind of killing is not an ordinary killing, like a robbery. Other than that we cannot make any conclusions,” said an investigator for an international human rights organization.

However, the state the bodies were found in was similar to two corpses dug up from shallow graves last Thursday. Like them, the bodies were stripped down to their underwear and had signs of having been tortured.

At least one of the corpses found Thursday, Sath Sopheak­tra, 19, had links to the protest group Students for Democracy, a fellow student said Sunday.

Neither of the bodies found Sun­day by human rights workers could be identified at all because of decomposition. Both corpses had been in the water four to five days.

The first body was found at

7 am floating in a canal near a rice field near Preak Ko, Kandal pro­vince, about 25 km south of Phnom Penh off of Route 2, rights workers said.

The man, who appeared to be in his 30s or 40s, had his hands tied behind his back and he was both blindfolded and gagged, the investigating international rights worker said. Decomposition was so advanced that investigators were unsure whether the man had been beaten.

The second man’s body was found at 4 pm floating in water in Tuol Kok district in west Phnom Penh. He appeared to be about 30 and had been shot twice, once in the right side of the chest and once in the stomach.

His hands were bound with hammock strings and there was a rope tied around his neck, with heavy bruises around his neck, the investigating rights workers said.

Rumors of floating bodies have been rampant around Phnom Penh in the past week amid fears that protesters and student leaders were being killed and their bodies hidden. The discoveries Sunday were the first confirmation of the rumors about floating dead bodies.

Police in Kandal and Phnom Penh could not be reached Sun­day for comment. Last week, police said the two bodies discovered Thursday were likely robbers.



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