Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Groups seeking answers on ‘disappeared’ Veng Sreng protester



Groups seeking answers on ‘disappeared’ Veng Sreng protester

Protesters chant on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard during garment industry protests that turned deadly in January 2014.
Protesters chant on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard during garment industry protests that turned deadly in January 2014. Pha Lina

Groups seeking answers on ‘disappeared’ Veng Sreng protester

Civil rights organisations on Wednesday once again urged the government to investigate the disappearance of 16-year-old Khim Saphath, who disappeared amid a violent crackdown by security forces on striking workers in 2014 on the capital’s Veng Sreng Boulevard.

Wednesday marked the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, during which renewed calls were made for the government to continue to probe the mystery surrounding Saphath’s case.

A witness last saw Saphath bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest and being taken away by security forces, who fatally shot four other protesters during the January 2014 demonstration. He is presumed dead, though his body has never been found.

Yesterday his father, Khim Souern, said he had no hope of ever knowing his son’s fate. “I never saw his body, but I assume he’s already dead, under the authorities’ hands,” he said. “I have no hope in the government to find justice for my son. I don’t trust the government.”

Licadho human rights monitor Am Sam Ath said Licadho had asked the government to establish an independent committee to investigate the case and bring justice.

“But I think justice for him and for his family is in the sky,” he said.

Khieu Sopheak, of the Ministry of Interior, couldn’t be reached, but he was quoted in local media saying the ministry was still investigating the case.

Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson said the government “needs to answer where he is”.

“It’s cruel to leave his family without answers when it’s certain that the government knows exactly what happened to him.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,