I exhort the Government and parliamentarians, if they are serious about curbing political
violence preceding and following an election, to make into law a bill that will shift
the burden of proof from the victim's family or political party to the Government.
Presently, any act of violence against a political figure or supporter is assumed
NOT to be political. The victim's family is left with the burden to prove that the
act was politically motivated, an impossible burden of proof in reality, because
it is so easy for the Government to dismiss it as otherwise, eg witchcraft, personal
This law would shift the burden of proof.
In effect the law would say: Within the period of six months prior to an election
and two months after that election [for example], any person who is well known to
be politically active and is injured/maimed/killed within that period, will be AUTOMATICALLY
PRESUMED to be injured/maimed/killed because of his/her political activities [opposite
of current state]. Unless strong evidence surfaced to prove the contrary, the Government
(ie Ministry of Interior) is responsible for compensating the victim's family in
the amount of [$25,000 for example] for the death of the person to violence within
I've noticed an interesting trend: Until now, it used to be that "accidents"
or "robberies" only befell opposition figures. But now, it must be either
that the magic spell has lost its power to protect CPP activists/supporters, or that
the ruling party has become more shrewd in sacrificing a CPP person here and there
in the mix of every ten opposition figures injured/maimed/killed. (To keep those
nosy foreigners guessing and confused!)
This law would resolve either scenario-be it an opposition or a CPP individual, the
burden is on the Government to protect and compensate the victim or his/her family.
- Theary Seng - Cambodian-American Attorney - Washington, DC