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Former CPP Activist Killed: Rights Group

A former activist who defected from the Cambodian People’s Party this year was killed in Takeo province on Thursday, a rights group said, while six suspects were out on bail Tuesday.

Chhoung Soam, who had joined the Human Rights Party ahead of the elections, was found dead 2 kilometers from his home Ta O village, said In Kong Chhit, an investigator for the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

Commune police official Hing Sovannarith confirmed there had been a killing, but he denied it was politically charged. Police had arrested six men, but they were currently out on bail, he said.

Saom Horn, son of the victim, said his father had had a heated exchange with a former provincial police chief the day before his death. He appealed to authorities to investigate further.

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said he was suspicious of the murder because police seemed to be hiding information.

Chhoung Soam’s death brings to three the total number of party activists murdered in the past two months, In Kong Chhit said.