Women Shot by Governor Ask For the Same Treatment as Sasa

Three women who were shot by the governor of Bavet City in 2012 while protesting outside a garment factory in Svay Rieng province on Monday appealed for high-level intervention—as occurred following the assault of television personality Ek Socheata earlier this month—to bring their attacker to justice.

Nuth Sokhorn, Bun Chenda and Keo Nea delivered a petition to the National Assembly calling for Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng to locate and arrest Chhouk Bundith, who remains a free man despite being sentenced to 18 months in prison —a term upheld by both the Appeal Court and Supreme Court.

Bun Chenda, left, and Keo Nea, who were shot by Chhouk Bundith in 2012, stand outside the National Assembly on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Bun Chenda, left, and Keo Nea, who were shot by Chhouk Bundith in 2012, stand outside the National Assembly on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We consider our case similar to the Sasa case and so we ask the government to help to find justice for three of us,” said Ms. Nea, 23, using a nickname for Ms. Socheata, whose vicious assault at the hands of real-estate tycoon Sok Bun drew the ire of Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Kheng.

“We consider [Mr. Hun Sen] a king, but he stands by and watches. Chhouk Bundith tried to kill us while Sasa was merely beaten up, and it only took about a week for the government to handle the case, while our case has been going on for three years,” she said.

“The government can find justice for Sasa, but it cannot find justice for us.”

Mr. Bun fled the country after footage of his attack on Ms. Socheata emerged and went viral on social media. He returned only after Mr. Hun Sen used a public speech to urge him to do so, and was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport.

Eng Chhay Eang, an opposition lawmaker and head of the National Assembly’s human rights commission, confirmed that Monday’s petition had been received and pledged to make further efforts to move the case forward.

“We will intervene [and ask] the Ministry of Justice to push for the correct and full implementation of the law,” Mr. Chhay Eang said. “If that is not effective, we will summon Justice Minister [Ang Vong Vathana] to question him.”

dara@cambodiadaily.com

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