THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, describing the recent shooting of a Cambodian civilian by Thai troops as an “inhuman act”.
In a statement, the ministry said that soldiers from the Royal Thai Army’s Unit 13 opened fire on a group of four Cambodian villagers who were crossing back into Cambodia on June 23. One of the men, known as Dim Doeu, was seriously wounded and died on the way to hospital.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia considers the act as another serious breach of internationally accepted humanitarian principle, which should not be committed by an agent of a civilised State in official capacity,” the statement said.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia requests the Thai authorities concerned to take appropriate measures to prevent such atrocities from recurrence, to conduct thorough investigation into this unfortunate incident, and to bring to justice those who committed the above act of cruelty.”
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thailand has never issued a formal response to numerous diplomatic notes related to border shootings.
“Every diplomatic note that we have submitted to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh relating to Thai soldiers shooting migrant workers from Cambodia has never received a reply,” he said.
“Therefore, we condemn them as a thief who never makes a confession of their crimes.”
In February, local rights group Adhoc reported that more than 20 Cambodian civilians, including a 6-year-old child, had been shot by Thai soldiers in the border region in the past two years.
In the most notorious case, Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities reported in September last year that 16-year-old Yon Rith, an illegal logger from Samrong district, was shot and burned alive by Thai border soldiers.
Suwat Keowsook, secretary at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Chawanon Intharakomansut, spokesman of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.