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Chea Vichea's Widow Was Granted Refugee Status by UNHCR in Thailand - 2004-02-27

In an interview with VOA stringer Friday, a Sam Rainsy party activist in Bangkok confirms the news that Chea Vichea's widow was granted refugee status by the UNHCR office there.

Mr. Om Sara said after an interview with Chea Vichea's widow in Bangkok that last several hours, the UNHCR has granted her family refugee status enabling her to seek asylum in a third country, most likely the United States.

Chea Vichea was a popular union leader who was slain on the street of Phnom Penh in broad daylight.

Cambodian police has made two arrests in the case, but critics say they were not the real killers.

Another widow who is also seeking a refugee status and asylum in a third country, is the wife of the slain pro-FUNCINPEC radio editor Chuor Chetharith.

Her relatives said she will be granted an interview with the UNHCR in Thailand sometime in May. At the moment, the UNHCR in Bangkok could not be reached for comments as to why she has to wait several months while Chea Vichea's widow was interviewed right away.