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Hun Sen Orders Re-Opening of Three Union Murder Cases

A scene from the documentary "Who Killed Chea Vichea?" Chea Vichea, a popular Cambodian union leader, was assassinated on January 22, 2004, in Phnom Penh.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the formation of a special committee to investigate cold-case murders of several labor leaders.

The most prominent killing, of popular unionist Chea Vichea, took place in January 2004. Leaders Hy Vuthy and Ros Sovannareth were killed in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Their killers remain at large.

Hun Sen’s order, signed June 10, calls for a joint commission of officials from the ministries of Interior, Justice and Labor to review and re-investigate the cases.

Chea Vichea’s brother, Chea Mony, who now heads the same organization his brother once did, the Free Trade Union, says he doubts the new commission will do anything significant for the cases.

Many government commissions have been formed, he said, including those to investigate violence against workers in January 2014 that left five dead, and they have done little. “They never produce any results,” he said.

Officials from the three ministries could not immediately be reached for comment. Government spokesman Phay Siphan said he had no information about the order.