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Logger killing denied

Logger killing denied

Thai ministry says soldiers did not burn teen: report.

A REPORTED denial from Bangkok that Thai soldiers were involved in the death of a Cambodian teenager who was allegedly shot and burned alive was greeted with scepticism in the victim’s home province of Oddar Meanchey on Wednesday.

A spokesperson with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebutted suggestions that Thai soldiers killed 16-year-old Yon Rith, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The newspaper quoted spokesperson Vimon Kidchob as saying the ministry had checked its border reports and found the allegation to be baseless. She said Thai soldiers merely fired bullets into the air after finding eight Cambodians sneaking into Thailand to cut down trees.

But Oddar Meanchey Governor Pich Sokhin called the Thai assertion a lie. “How could our people have been injured and killed if their soldiers shot into the air?” he said.

“Their interpretation is a lie to avoid responsibility and to hide their cruelty from the public. Our people are injured and dead. How can they say they have no responsibility?”

The Cambodian Foreign Ministry was still waiting for an official response from the Thais, spokesman Koy Kuong said.

“This [media] comment is not an official one,” he said.

“We sent them a diplomatic note, and we need their written response. Our message is to ask [Thai] authorities to investigate this case and for the responsible persons to be punished.”

Human rights advocates in Cambodia also dismissed the reported Thai denial.

“Thailand’s dignity will decrease for committing crime and violence on Cambodians,” said Chan Soveth, an investigator with the NGO Adhoc.

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