The Cambodia Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is investigating 12 additional killings that may be related to elections, according to a report released Tuesday.
The fourth in a series of weekly reports, which covers July 18 through last Saturday, includes three killings in Siem Reap province, and the July 17 attack on an electoral delegation near Anlong Veng, which resulted in two deaths and five injuries.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the office said it received seven additional reports of alleged political killings, but could not gather details in time for the report’s release. Since May 20, the office has been investigating 20 possible politically motivated killings.
Among the five newly documented killings under investigation is the May 28 murder of a farmer, Rith Rom, 36, who was shot dead in a small hut near a remote farm in Sotr Nikom district in Siem Reap province. A group of armed militiamen were staying in a nearby hut, two of whom were relatives of a local official, the report said. The UN confirmed that Rith Rom was a member of both Funcinpec and the CPP, and has not made any conclusions about the motive.
The office also has not determined a motive in the July 15 death of Lith Pras, 60, whose political affiliation is claimed by the Sam Rainsy Party and the CPP. Both parties allege the act was a political killing. Robbery is not believed to be the motive. Lith Pras was shot in the head with a single bullet while she was sleeping in her house in Chikreng district.
The Sam Rainsy Party said she joined the party in June and had actively recruited new members. The UN report said there were credible reports of intimidation preceding her death.
On July 14, Nhiek Vorn, 48, was shot through his home’s wooden floor in Sotr Nikom district while eating dinner with his family. He died later in the hospital. The office has found evidence of two land disputes, one family dispute and another dispute with a relative of the village chief. He held both Sam Rainsy and CPP cards, according to the UN.
The office is also investigating 25 other acts of violence and intimidation, including two separate beatings of Funcinpec members wearing party T-shirts, one July 8 in Preah Vihear province and another July 9 in front of the Royal Gendarmerie in Phnom Penh.
Also included in the report is the July 20 arrest of Sam Rainsy Party candidate Ly Rosamy and her husband Danh Teav, a Ministry of Interior official. She was released, but Danh Teav is still in PJ Prison, accused of murdering a businessman earlier this year.
He and five other suspects have been severely beaten in police custody, the report said. As of Saturday, the six were denied access to medical care, legal aid and family visits, the report said.
The office has not found any evidence of racial or political motives in the killing of three ethnic Vietnamese and a fourth victim in Kratie province July 14. Three people with masked faces and wearing RCAF uniforms entered houses demanding valuables and money. In a second house, they opened fire on the victims who had woken up because of their presence.
© 1998 – 2013, Stew Magnuson. All rights reserved.