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A Decade Later, Rights Group Calls for Justice for Grenade Attack

The New York-based Human Rights Watch Thursday criticized the Cambodian government for its lack of progress into the investigation of a 1997 grenade attack.

The statement came on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the grenade attack, March 30, and as preparations were underway for a peaceful demonstration by opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Last week, the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights called on the government to release information on investigations of several unresolved cases, including the grenade.

Grenades tossed into the a crowd of Sam Rainsy Party demonstrators in front of the National Assembly in Phnom Penh killed at least 13 people and wounded 30 others.

Ministry of Interior Spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Thursday the government had arrested a suspect, named Verea, who later died in a traffic accident.

“If I am not mistaken, we already found the person behind the attack”, Khieu Sopheak said.

“If the government wants to show its good will, or wants to give justice to the people, they should release information on the investigation,” Kem Sokha, director of the Cambodia Center for Human Rights said. “Don't say that they are still probing; it has been 10 years.”

Meanwhile, Sam Rainsy, who expressed skepticism to the Cambodian government along with its justice system, said he would arranged for a grand Buddhist memorial scheduled for this coming Friday.