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Monk's Death by Slit Throat Not Likely a Suicide, Activists Say


Rights workers say they dispute a police theory that a monk found with his throat cut earlier this week took his own life.

Eang Sok Thoeun, a 32-year-old monk of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom ethnic group, was discovered in his quarters in Kandal Province Tuesday, and local police said they suspected suicide tied to drug abuse as they pursue an investigation.

"We have a lot of doubts because the police have not yet correctly interpreted the cause of death," Chan Soveth, a rights worker with the group Adhoc told VOA.

The Khmer Kampuchea Krom is a minority group living throughout the Mekong Delta region. Buddhist monks of the group in Cambodia joined a demonstration Tuesday near the Vietnam Embassy to demand more religious freedoms for members in Vietnam. The demonstration coincided with the first state visit of Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Eang Chanrith, executive director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Organization for Human Rights, said the monk's death and the demonstration were likely related.

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