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Grenade Attack Anniversary Rouses Call for Justice

The Hong-Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission called on the Cambodian government Wednesday to release information on investigations of several long-standing, unsolved cases, including the 1997 grenade attack on an opposition demonstration.

Investigations “must be conducted and the report made public,” the rights group said in a statement, as the 10th anniversary of the March 30 grenade attack approaches.

The killings of two popular singer have also gone unsolved. In 2003, Touch Srey Nich, a much-beloved singer, was paralyzed from the neck down after she was shot, while Piseth Pilika, a well-known classical dancer, “whom Prime Minister Hun Sen was alleged to have good relations with,” died in a hospital a week after she was shot in 1999, the group said.

Other killings of prominent political leaders also were not properly investigated, the group said.

Monk Sam Bunthoeun, an advocate for human rights, and journalist Chou Cetharith, the former owner of Funcinpec’s Ta Prohmm radio, were both murdered.

Grenades tossed into a crowd of demonstrators in 1997 killed 14 people and wounded 142, “yet police investigations have not led to a single arrest,” the group said.

“These heinous crimes not only symbolize Cambodia’s human rights struggle,” it said, “they also demonstrate the judicial failure to deliver justice.”