PHNOM PENH —
Three victims injured in a public shooting in early 2012 have called on the prime minister to intervene and find the former governor convicted of the crime.
The three women, shot when then-Bavet city governor Chhouk Bandith opened fire on a group of garment protesters, filed a petition to the National Assembly, calling for authorities to find the man, who was convicted in absentia in June 2013 but remains at large.
The petition comes following the arrest of a business tycoon accused of beating a TV star—and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s demands for justice in that case.
Speaking to journalists following the submission of their petition on Monday, Bun Chenda, Keo Nea and Nuth Sakorn said they should have been treated like the TV star, Sasa.
Through tears, Nuth Sakorn said all three of the women still suffer from their injuries and have not been able to work full time. “Ms. Sasa’s case lasted only one week, but ours has taken over three years without justice,” she said.
Keo Nea said she still lives in fear of retribution from Chhouk Bandith. “When the government ignores the victims, the three of us worry that he, who was Bavet governor, is rich and he can hire any assassin to kill us any time,” she said.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak told VOA Khmer that police continue to search for Chhouk Bandith. The case of Sok Bun, the tycoon, is different, he said, because the suspect turned himself in.
Still, Chhorn Sokha, a labor rights official at the Community Legal Education Center, said she hopes this case will get as much attention as Sasa’s. “We hope that the three garment workers will receive a solution for justice, and that [Prime Minister] Hun Sen would help them like he did with Ms. Sasa,” she said.