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‘Remains’ activist in hiding

Kampong Speu provincial police, having scoured the site where human remains were allegedly found on Saturday by an opposition activist and discovered no evidence, are calling on him to come out of hiding to clear things up.

Dim Keang said on Sunday that he had found charred remains at a mountain in Samrong Tong district. He speculated that the remains likely belonged to 16-year-old Khim Saphath, who went missing during garment worker protests in early January.

After bringing some of the bones to Cambodia National Rescue Party headquarters in Phnom Penh and hearing police wanted to question him, Keang went into hiding.

Sam Sameoun, deputy chief of Kampong Speu police, said yesterday that police investigating the case had found nothing except ashes and dirt at the location where the remains were allegedly found.

“We want to invite Dim Keang for questioning to have him to point out where he saw the remains; what we want is for Mr Dim Keang to clarify reality,” Sameoun said yesterday.

It was suspicious that Keang had not contacted police after finding the remains, he added.

However, given that soldiers from the elite Brigade 70 unit had initially blocked police and rights groups from entering the area, it cannot be ruled out that the evidence was destroyed, said Rath Thavy, a senior monitor at rights group Adhoc.

“It is very difficult to guess [what happened].”

Some of the remains were brought by Keang and provincial opposition officials to the CNRP in Phnom Penh on Monday.

While party spokesman Yem Ponharith said they had been passed on to rights group Licadho, the group denies having received them.

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