PHNOM PENH —
Police in Kampong Speu province say there is no evidence to link the charred remains of a corpse to a 16-year-old boy who went missing during a government crackdown on labor demonstrations in January.
Members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party had claimed that the remains, found in a makeshift crematorium on the edge of a military range, belonged to Khem Sophat, who was last seen being taken by soldiers during the January crackdown.
Sam Samourn, deputy police chief for the province, said Wednesday that two witnesses and other evidence show the remains do not belong to Khem Sophat. The remains could belong to the victim of a fire started in the forest, possibly by military shells, he said.
However, Ny Chakrya, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, cautioned against premature conclusions by the police. He urged a “real investigation” into the remains and the crematorium, which could indicate foul play.