AN illegal logger who survived a shootout with Thai troops that killed his father-in-law “will die” unless he receives medical treatment soon, according to rights activists in Oddar Meanchey province.
Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the life of Phal Sokha – whose injured leg is infested with maggots – hangs in the balance.
The 20-year-old, from Bak Anloung commune in Trapaing Prasat district, went missing after Thai troops opened fire on eight loggers who had crossed the Thai border into Sisaket province on December 8.
Phlok Lai, 55, died during the incident. Phal Sokha survived days in the jungle without food by drinking from waterfalls.
“I could not walk. I had to creep from Thailand to Cambodia. When I reached home I was unconscious. Now I have a seriously injured leg, and I don’t have money for treatment at the hospital,” he said.
Srey Naren said he has serious concerns about the man’s health. “His family is poor, so they did not bring him to the hospital,” he said.
“I would like to announce to any NGOs, help him, otherwise he will die.”
The shooting is just one of a number of serious incidents to have occurred at the Thai border since September. On Monday, Thai soldiers opened fire on a different group of 14 loggers, shooting one in the leg.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said that the government has written to Thailand calling for a halt to such “cruel actions”.
It has also asked the Ministry of the Interior to instruct villagers not to cross the border.