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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border killing leads to row over damages

Border killing leads to row over damages

Border killing leads to row over damages

THAI authorities stationed along the border have offered a compensation payment of 30,000 baht (US$927) to the family of a Cambodian migrant worker shot and killed by Thai soldiers last week, though a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that the sum would not make up for the “cruel act”.

Dim Doeun, 44, was shot and killed last Wednesday while returning to his native Sampov Loun district in Battambang province. He was 200 metres from the border when the shooting occurred, Cambodian officials said last week.

Colonel An Saray, commander of the Cambodia-Thai Border Relations Office in Sampov Loun district, said Thai authorities stationed near the border had on Saturday given the family 30,000 baht in compensation.

“Thai authorities did not admit that their army shot the victim, but they claim the case is under investigation,” he said. “They acknowledged that the victim was shot dead in Thailand, so the compensation is a way of taking responsibility for the victim dying in their country.”

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Tuesday that the compensation payment would not discourage Cambodian officials from raising the case with the Thai government.

“They cannot use this money for totalling the value of the lives of the people,” he said. “They open fire on people like they are shooting animals. They don’t use the law; they use guns and bullets, which we cannot accept.”

He said the ministry was still looking to verify the particulars of the “cruel act” before sending a diplomatic note to Thailand.

Thani Thongpakdi, spokesman for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached for comment on the case Tuesday, while Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said he was “not in a position to comment”.

The rights group Adhoc reported in February that more than 20 Cambodian civilians – including a 6-year-old child – had been shot by Thai soldiers in the border region in the past two years.

“Thai soldiers have no right to kill Cambodian citizens who cross into Thailand,” said a statement accompanying the report’s release.

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