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Boeung Kak activists quizzed over Wat Phnom attack

Si Heap, a land activist, is treated at Calmette Hospital after she was shot in the head with a marble at Wat Phnom in 2013.
Si Heap, a land activist, is treated at Calmette Hospital after she was shot in the head with a marble at Wat Phnom in 2013. Koam Chanrasmey

Boeung Kak activists quizzed over Wat Phnom attack

Two Boeung Kak lake activists were questioned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday in relation to a 2013 attack by unidentified assailants on community members at the capital’s Wat Phnom.

Land activists from the Boueng Kak and Borei Keila communities were attacked by a group of men wearing masks and armed with slingshots, batons and sticks during a nighttime candle-light vigil in September 2013, with 11 activists and a rights monitor injured.

Five of the activists who filed a complaint over the incident were questioned by the Ministry of Interior in May, and yesterday two more of the victims – Mao Sokha and Som Soueng – were questioned in court about their recollections of the now three-year-old incident.

“We do not know the identity of the perpetrators but, at the time, the authorities were standing behind them,” Soueng told reporters after the questioning. She added that she had lost hope of getting justice and that the group had been left with only “the scars from their wounds.”

Sokha said the group was also confused because the summons listed the date of the incident as May 6, 2016, and not September 2013. “Maybe they [officials] were confused,” she said.

Court spokesman Ly Sophanna declined to comment on the date.

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