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Remains ‘bound for NGO’

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party said yesterday that charred human remains retrieved by a local party member in Kampong Speu province on Saturday would be handed over to human rights organisations for examination.

Despite a seeming lack of evidence or investigation, opposition activists have speculated that the remains belong to 16-year-old Khim Saphath, who went missing amid a deadly crackdown on garment worker protests on January 3.

CNRP spokesman Yem Ponharith said yesterday that the remains would be sent to Adhoc or fellow rights group Licadho.

“We are sending the remains to civil society so that they can examine them,” he said.

But when reached late yesterday afternoon, representatives from both organisations said that they had yet to receive the remains.

“If we receive them, we will consider doing a DNA test, and the DNA test must be done in Thailand to find out the reality. Otherwise, we cannot guess,” Ny Chakrya, head of human rights and legal aid at Adhoc, said.

Both groups said authorities should be investigating the case.

Som Samoeun, Kampong Speu deputy police chief, said that yesterday morning the military, a court prosecutor and police officers went to examine the area where the remains were found. They were accompanied by Mao Touch, a local villager who first found the remains and has been summoned for questioning.

Samoeun said police found no evidence that anyone burned a body at the location where the remains were discovered.

“We think that whoever spread this information did so in order to fight the authority or the government; however, we do not know who created this and told the journalists.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KHOUTH SOPHAK CHAKRYA

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