Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nine executed 'by soldiers'

Nine executed 'by soldiers'

Nine executed 'by soldiers'

nine9-7.gif
nine9-7.gif

Bodies will 'feed the fish'

THE TOLL

Six of the nine men shot by gunmen who rights workers said were soldiers from RCAF Div 51 in Kampong Thom on April 2.

THE motive remains unclear but the result isn't: nine men executed in Kampong Thom on April 2 and mounting evidence that soldiers in the area were the murderers. No arrests have been made.

Rights workers believe that the evidence is so strong that authorities will be forced take action against the guilty even though such action is rare.

"There is not enough [being done] to stop these kind of atrocities from happening," one rights worker said.

"In this case we actually hope that the authorities will hold someone responsible."

Soldiers from Division 51 in Kampong Thom's Steung district detained a group of men, bound their hands, confiscated an AK-47 and two grenades - commonly used for fishing - and were leading them toward the neighboring Chemous Mountain, according to a human rights report on the killings, released on condition that the organization not be cited.

"There is no need to go so far, let's kill them here," one soldier reportedly told his colleagues at the time. "It will feed the fish."

At that moment one of the captives attempted to flee: "Nhiek Pra started running to escape but one soldier ran after him and shot him dead.

"At that moment, [the] others also tried escaping but they couldn't go far as their hands were tied behind their backs.

"The military tripped the men and shot them in the head."

Rights workers concluded after an extensive investigation that the nine men were killed by Division 51 soldiers, although the exact motive remains uncertain.

While some of the men were shot in the back or other parts of the body, and some bore signs of rifle-butting, all nine were shot in the head at least once - as was clear from photos taken two days after the killing.

According to Rasmei Kam-puchea, Kampong Svay district military commander Ruos Sophal said that the killings took place "outside of my soldiers' jurisdiction" and claimed that locals, angry at four alleged water buffalo thieves, simply executed them and five of their companions.

Rights workers said that went against evidence from their investigation.

They also lamented that local police did not begin their investigation into the killing till more than a week later and, as the bodies had already been cremated, had little to go on.

Rights investigators also produced an interview with a military official in the area who heard the killers radio to say they had killed eight water buffalo-thieves and injured a ninth, and confiscated their weapons.

They also reportedly contacted another military official to seek information on the men they had just killed. A military official confirmed that the killings were carried out by Division 51 soldiers.

The report also cited a militiaman in the area who reportedly pointed the finger at local military authorities, explaining that Divisions 15, 51 and 55 had mobilized in the area just before the executions. "The men were killed by those military," he said.

 

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided