Last week, Cambodia’s anti-terrorism police arrested a woman for allegedly linking Cambodia’s Prime Minister and his family to the murder of a political analyst Kim Ley.
In a live video – now taken down from the woman’s Facebook page – Heng Leakhena accused the Prime Minister of involvement in the murder.
“All his children and grandchildren, they are murderers…. The whole family is stained with Dr. Kem Ley’s blood,” Ms. Leakhena said in the video last Sunday.
She hails from Kem Ley’s childhood home in Takeo province, where a ceremony marked one year since the popular commentator was gunned down in broad daylight at a Phnom Penh gas station.
Heng Leakhena, whose real name is Hin Vansreypov, 37, was charged with incitement to commit a felony and was now being provisionally detained at Prey Sar prison.
In an email to The Independent, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development or Forum Asia called on the Cambodian authorities to ensure the investigation into the killing of Kim Ley is independent and credible.
“Only a thorough investigation uncovering whether anyone else is behind Ley’s murder will bring justice to his family and the Cambodian people.”
Kem Ley, a prominent activist, political analyst, and government critic, was shot dead on the morning of 10 July 2016 at a gas station’s coffee shop in Phnom Penh.
The Police immediately arrested an alleged perpetrator.
After the sentencing of the perpetrator in March 2017, several inconsistencies remain unaddressed.
The inadequacy of the investigation is exemplified by the confusion surrounding the perpetrator’s identity and confession. Against this backdrop, suspicion of underlying political motives behind Ley’s murder remains strong.
Massive numbers of people gathered to join Kem Ley’s funeral procession in July 2016. On 8 and 9 July 2017, thousands of people gathered at Ley’s hometown, Takeo, paying respects to a man who strongly advocated for democracy, good governance and human rights in Cambodia.