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People pay their respects to Adhoc senior investigator Chan Soveth
People pay their respects to Adhoc senior investigator Chan Soveth at a pagoda in Phnom Penh yesterday after he passed away on Wednesday. Hong Menea

Chan Soveth mourned

A strong gathering of mourners turned out yesterday to pay their respects to high-profile human rights worker Chan Soveth, who passed away in the capital on Wednesday.

Land dispute victims, fellow NGO workers and opposition lawmakers were among those who came to a Phnom Penh pagoda for Soveth’s funeral.

Soveth, 51, was a senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, where he had worked for almost two decades.

Tributes continued to flow in yesterday for a man many considered fearless in his pursuit of justice for Cambodians afflicted by abuses including land grabbing.

“Chan Soveth was a voice for the voiceless. For decades, he selflessly worked for victims of human rights violations and abuses, in particular the poor and those living in remote areas, which Adhoc managed to reach out to,” said Karim Lahidji, president of the International Federation for Human Rights, of which Adhoc is a member. “Soveth’s death is a great loss for his family, his colleagues and Cambodia’s human rights community, but the heritage of courage and commitment he left will last for generations.”

Soveth passed away at his home in the capital after monitoring events as part of International Human Rights Day.

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