O NE worker with Sam Rainsy's Khmer Nation Party (KNP) was killed after being arrested
by Takeo police, an internal party investigation has allegedly confirmed.
Reports that two other party staff in Takeo were also killed have been discounted,
but they are believed to have gone in hiding for fear of their lives, Rainsy said
A report prepared by party representatives sent to Takeo to investigate said that
Trinh Pheng, who had been collecting thumprints in support of the KNP, was killed
The report said Pheng was arrested and taken away by four or five police about 9am
while he was visiting Ko commune in the province's Daun Kaev district.
About 7pm that night, he was reportedly seen being dragged behind a Nissan truck
by a rope. Witnesses allegedly heard a man in the truck shouting out that "this
guy has robbed a car and killed a carload of people," while the victim was yelling
"that's not true, that's not true!" Pheng's severly-battered body was found
some time later.
The KNP report said the information was second-hand, and came from a person who was
not prepared to act as a witness because he did not want to get into trouble. Pheng's
wife also did not want to pursue a complaint against the police, saying that one
death in the family was enough.
Pheng, who had six children, was a motorcycle taxi-driver and former Funcinpec soldier
credited with collecting 350 thumbprints of KNP supporters.
Rainsy condemned his death and urged a full investigation by local authorities, but
was concerned that intimidation or fear would prevent witnesses from testifying.