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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The horror of the killings

The horror of the killings

With three recent shooting of high profile personalities in Cambodia,

the mood in local and overseas Khmer community is first of disbelief and shock, and

finally anger.

It was a senseless tragedy that still plagued the already chaotic Khmer society.

When will this immorality end? When will the "culture of impunity" in Cambodia


Life is cheap in Cambodia and those with guns and money rule with absolute impunity.

In broad day light these execution-style murders sent a chilling warning and reminder

that no one is immune, except those who are in charge and those with guns.

If you are a high profile person, such as an opposition politician, a celebrity,

a journalist, or even a human rights activist, you are a big target if you dare to

"rock the boat" in your search for a change to the existing chaotic Khmer


You are a target for a broad- daylight execution in public if you are seen as an

obstacle to tyranny.

Nothing will happen to the gunmen because they have guns, money, and most important

perhaps, even powerful backers behind their immoral act.

These cowards are never caught and brought to justice. Why is that?

I fear for the safety and security of those who dare to speak out again the power

that is currently in charge of Cambodia. These few couragous, dedicated, and peaceful

heroes, such as the people who work for human rights NGOs, are a big target.

Many other social, political, and environmental activists are also targets as they

are seen as a major barrier to those who are in charge of Cambodia.

I personally know of many of these activists who are my heroes. I fear for their

personal safety and security in Cambodia's "culture of impunity" society.

And finally, by writing this letter and speaking out about these issues, I know that

I personally become a target as well. I, too, am essentially "rocking the boat"

and a barrier to the powerful tyrants in charge of Cambodia. I, too, should be fearful

for my life.



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