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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rights worker alleges threat amid inquiry

Rights worker alleges threat amid inquiry

A rights group official said he was threatened for looking into a December homicide case in Pursat province that left one woman dead and her brother injured.

Provincial Adhoc coordinator Phourng Sophea said he found evidence suggesting the innocence of Ouch Bunleng, who was arrested on December 24 for being one of four men involved in the deadly robbery of a Wing kiosk in Phnom Kravanh district 11 days earlier.

Sophea said a complaint from Bunleng’s family and statements from witnesses placed the man eating with friends during the incident, so he visited the victims’ house on Saturday to investigate further.

However, upon leaving the house, an anonymous caller asked him why he was conducting interviews with the family.

“He said that you will have a problem with me, and we tried to talk peacefully to him but he ended the call,” Sophea said.

When the Post contacted the number, a man who answered claimed to be the brother-in-law of the deceased victim, but declined to give his name, and said “you do not have evidence that I intimidated [Sophea]”.

The man went on to blame Sophea for investigating on behalf of the alleged robber, and not the victim. “Tell him to meet me at my house,” the man added.

Deputy Pursat police chief Keo Sokunthea said Bunleng remained in jail, while two more suspects have been identified but remain at large.



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