Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Putting names to numbers: 42 summary executions

Putting names to numbers: 42 summary executions

Putting names to numbers: 42 summary executions

The United Nations second report into human rights abuses in Cambodia since last

July details 42 killings, 20 injuries and five disappearances, most of which the

report says can be traced to government employees.

The report criticizes the lack of investigation, particularly where there have been

numerous witnesses and suspects identified.

Below is an edited version of the report, divided into four sections. The first deals

with allegations that Funcinpec loyalists executed government soldiers during the

July coup; the second, an update on the August 21 memorandum that details political

killings following the coup; the third, further cases of summary executions since

the first memorandum; the final section with disappearances.

Appended to the report is an evaluation of the investigations to date. This assessment

was conducted by two experts: Arun Bhagat, former director of the Indian Intelligence

Bureau and Professor Peter Burns, Queen's Counsel from Canada and a member of the

United Nations Committee Against Torture. A page of the report appears to be missing

from the King's version and this is noted in the two cases it relates to in the text.


1. 15 Government soldiers: Allegedly arrested on July 5, detained at Taing Krasaing

and executed by Funcinpec forces the following day. The center interviewed witnesses

and saw a video of the interrogation of four of the soldiers. None of the witnesses

saw the soldiers tortured or executed, though one of the video tapes shows a prisoner

being kicked once during questioning.

The report says none of those people shown on the video have since been found, nor

have the others believed to have been detained at the same time.


2. Gen Chao Sambath and Gen Krouch Yoeum, both senior Funcinpec officers. Their bodies

were found on Oct 8 in Udong, identified by dental records and papers found on one

of them. Witnesses said the men were executed by paratroopers from Regiment 911 on

July 7. Details were given in the earlier memorandum.

3. Col Seung Sovanna and Lt Col Sun San, executed on July 7. They had heard radio

broadcasts saying that surrendering Funcinpec soldiers would be re-integrated into

the armed forces with no loss of rank. They gave themselves up and were taken to

Phnom Penh University for interrogation, then executed. The bodies have not been

recovered but identification has been made based on eyewitness accounts and ID papers

found at the scene.

4. Correction over a victim's identity. A man initially identified in the August

memorandum as Chao Keang was said to have been executed with three other men. The

victim was actually Chao Kong (or Kung), Chao Keang's brother. Chao Keang is alive.

5. Two people listed as missing found alive. Maj So Lay Sak and Maj Chin Vannak were

listed as missing in the August memorandum, they have since been located alive.


6. Capt Bou Sophal, 48 and Maj Choup Em, 44; Kampong Cham province; July 5-6: Witnesses

say the two were driven by soldiers to the place of execution in a white pickup truck

with military plates, and each shot once in the ear. Both men were initially buried

in shallow graves, though villagers say they dug one up and threw the body down a

disused well. A partial exhumation of the remaining body confirmed reports that the

victims were tied up before being killed. Both men were affiliated with Funcinpec.

Two other Funcinpec soldiers abducted at the same time - Maj Luch Ton and Priv

Yuth Yoeng - have not been located.

7. So Saroeun, 43, earth carrier; Prey Veng province; July 5: Killed by district

police after having been beaten and tied up. Police claimed Saroeun was shot trying

to escape. Saroeun had previously told villagers he was a member of Funcinpec and

would often talk about politics.

8. Two unidentified men; Kampong Speu province; July 6-7: The bodies were found in

a shallow grave, one beheaded, the other shot. Villagers said the men may have been

members of Funcinpec forces captured by Regiment 911 paratroopers on July 6.

9. Two men alleged to be bodyguards of Khan Savoeun, the former commander of military

region 4; Siem Reap province; July 8: The two were arrested by members of the Siem

Reap military subdivision. They were tied up and taken to a military building, and

later taken outside. Five gunshots were heard. The soldiers buried the bodies in

a shallow grave, then ordered the villagers to bury them deeper. They threatened

anyone who talked.

10. Ma Aun, 10; Siem Reap province; July 25: Twelve soldiers surrounded the house

of Funcinpec member Chhun Ma and opened fire. Ma escaped but his son was killed instantly.

The soldiers beat Ma's wife with their rifle butts and encouraged their lower ranks

to loot the house because the family "were Funcinpec members and thus robbers".

Local and district authorities were informed of the case but have taken no action,

nor have they protected or compensated the family.

11. Long Kot, naval soldier; Prek Taten Fuvial naval base; July 27: According to

former colleagues, Kot, a Funcinpec affiliate, was taken onto a boat by soldiers

who had overrun the base, was beaten unconscious then shot and his body dumped in

the Tonle Sap. No arrests have been made.

12. Lon Proeung, 34, farmer; Siem Reap province; Aug 8: Proeung was arrested by three

RCAF soldiers, led out into a rice paddy and shot. The soldiers reportedly accused

him of "betraying" CPP to Funcinpec. The soldiers then threatened other

villagers with the same fate if they supported Funcinpec.

13. Bou Khan, 34, policeman; Battambang province; Sept 9: Khan, an outspoken Funcinpec

supporter, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen. His police work included gathering

intelligence on criminal activities and politics. Police claim the motive for the

murder was robbery, however neither the victim's money, wedding ring or car were


14. Maj Po Penh, Mao Bun Thoeun and a man believed to be named Ream; Oddar Meanchey;

Sept 25: The three were arrested by six soldiers at Penh's home and taken outside

the village and executed. The soldiers warned villagers not to tell anyone about

the killings. All three men were affiliated to Funcinpec.No arrests have been made.

15. Sao Sim, 49, a farmer and the Funcinpec nominee for the communal elections; and

four of his relations, Sao Sdok, 26; Ben Seng, 37; Ben Ran, 37; and Ben Thy, 35;

Takeo province; Oct 1: Witnesses said the victims were dining together when the commune

militia chief Leng Theng started shooting at them with an AK-47, killing Sim, Seng

and Ran and badly injuring Sdok and Thy. Theng later threw a grenade into a neighboring

house where those wounded with gunshots were being treated. It did not explode, but

the one he later threw at people taking the injured to the hospital did, killing

Sdok and Thy and injuring five others. All the victims were affiliated to Funcinpec.

An arrest warrant was issued for Leng Theng and another man but by the end of April

neither had been arrested.

16. Proeung Horn, 24, farmer; Siem Reap province; Oct 4: Horn was fishing as a group

of soldiers began conscripting locals into the army. Two soldiers ordered Horn to

accompany them to their base. But as he went home to get some clothes one of them

opened fire with a machine gun, killing him instantly.

17. Lt Col Choung Meas Panharit, secretary general of the Funcinpec Youth movement;

Phnom Penh; Oct 10: Shot by two unidentified men near Pochentong airport. Panharit

had been a close associate of Gen Ho Sok, who had been killed in July.

18. Lt Col Kim On, 49, Funcinpec police officer; Phnom Penh; Nov 16: On was shot

and his body dumped in Chumpou Von village. On was a witness to the March 30 grenade

attack and had testified to an investigating commission.

19. Phat Phonn, 44, a Funcinpec soldier, and his son Phat Pich, 18; Oddar Meanchey;

Dec 7: The two were arrested and searched by RCAF soldiers between Samrong and O'Smach.

When the soldiers found Phonn's Funcinpec membership card they shot and killed him

immediately and injured the son who, died later.

20. Col Chea Chantoeun, 40 and Maj Var Savuth, 48, border police officers; Phnom

Penh; Dec 24: Their bodies were found beaten and strangled to death at a pagoda along

Route 4. Witnesses say that the bodies were dumped from a white car with no license


21. Lt Col Kroch Bun Song, military intelligence officer Kandal province; Dec 24:

Song was shot by two men on the side of a road. Witnesses say the men had been waiting

to ambush him and had been seen earlier to receive AK-47s from men in a military


22. Inn Phuong, 58, school teacher and his daughter, Chan Sorya, 4; Prey Veng province;

Jan 27: Armed men opened fire on Phuong's house, mortally wounding him and killing

his daughter. Phuong was an active member of the Khmer Nation Party. Police blamed

the killings on revenge and arrested two men who claimed they were forced to participate

in the attack at gunpoint.

The copy of the UNCHR report published in the King's monthly bulletin was missing

a page that detailed cases 23 and 24. The details below are taken from the April

10-23 edition of the Phnom Penh Post.

23. Touch Tum, Bun Vannak and resistance supporter Chea Samnang; Banteay Meanchey;

Feb 18: All three were shot dead about 300 meters from their home.

24. Col Tem Sophat, a bodyguard for resistance leader Lay Virak, his child Tem Kleng,

8, and Mel Chhak, 12; Banteay Meanchey; Feb 27: Six uniformed men opened fire with

B-40 rockets, killing the three. They then destroyed Sophat's home and threatened

villagers with the same fate.

28. Brig Gen Kim Sang, 41, maritime border police; Phnom Penh; March 4: Shot dead

in a busy street in daylight by two men in police uniforms. Sang had received a telephone

call asking him to come into the office for a meeting half an hour before he was

shot. He was taken to the hospital while still alive, however a police officer spoke

to medical staff who then refused to treat him. The same policeman then tried to

stop one of Sang's relatives from applying heart massage. After his death Sang's

wife was visited by police who warned her not to file a complaint with any organization

or she "would have a big problem."

A top-level committee was formed to investigate the killing but by the end of April

said they had made little progress because witnesses were too afraid to testify.

Sang's wife and family had not been approached for information.

29. Maj Muong Someth, 42;. Kandal province; Feb 28: Shot dead by one of three men

wearing a bodyguard's uniform and carrying a K-59 handgun. Police said it was a robbery

and that witnesses were too afraid to testify.

30. Lt Col Chea Vutha, military training officer; Kandal province; March 28: Shot

by two unidentified men after returning from a meeting at Funcinpec headquarters.

The gunmen assumed he had died instantly but local villagers who helped him said

he told them one of the gunmen was named Kring. Kring has been described as a soldier

with a criminal record who acts with impunity because he is protected at a high level.

31. Nop Phanit, school teacher; Takeo province; March 26: Killed in a grenade attack

at a pagoda which also seriously injured Nhem Valy, an advisor to National Assembly

president Chea Sim, the pagoda's patron. Initially labeled political by the Ministry

of the Interior, which later claimed it was a love dispute.

32. Nam Kay, 65 and her sister Nam Nuon, 56; Takeo province, April 26: Grenade attack

which killed two and injured four other family members; five of the victims were

members of the Son Sann Party. There had been previous complaints to rights organizations

of intimidation of Funcinpec and Son Sann Party members in the area. One of those

wounded, Khieu Touch, was a district representative of the Son Sann Party who had

refused an approach to join the CPP. Police said the attack was a dispute over love

or land. The provincial governor said it was an act of revenge.


The following people were last seen being detained by government authorities.

33. Gen Chea Rittichut; Kampong Speu province; July 7.

34. Col Saom Sarath; no location given; July 7.

35. Capt So Samoeun and his driver Ra;. Kandal province; Feb 17.

36. Ouk Kim Chheang; Kompong Cham province; Nov 21.

37. Maj Luch Ton and Yuth Yoeng; Kampong Cham province; July 5 -6.


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