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VI: APPENDIX A: Killings Allegedly Committed by State Agents Between January 1997-October 1998, Compiled by Adhoc and Licadho_

In an investigation of killings that occurred throughout Cambodia over a twenty-two-month period, Adhoc and Licadho found that 263 people were allegedly killed by members of the police, gendarmerie, military, militia, bodyguard units, or the civil service between January 1997 and October 1998. The majority of these killings were not politically motivated but nonetheless constitute grave human rights abuses.176

To the knowledge of the human rights organizations, not one of the 209 suspected perpetrators has been brought to justice. By far the greatest numbers of suspected offenders were soldiers, who constituted roughly half of the perpetrators. Another 22 percent were police officers, 14 percent were members of the militia, 3 percent were gendarmes, 3 percent were civil servants, and 6 percent were mixed groups (bodyguard units and militia, for example).

Of these cases, the greatest cause of impunity was that local authorities (court, police, or gendarmerie) did not take any evident action at all, which occurred in close to half of the killings (48 percent). In 24 percent of the cases, the authorities took some action – such as launching an investigation – but perpetrators nonetheless escaped arrest or were released from detention for lack of evidence or other reasons. Another 19 percent of the cases are still under investigation by the courts and police, despite half of those cases being more than one year old. In 6 percent of the cases, the alleged perpetrator paid financial compensation to the victim's family but never served any time in jail.

The provincial offices of Adhoc and Licadho received many more reports of killings during the twenty-two month period than detailed in this report. The final tally included only cases that had been investigated by the human rights organizations and where sufficient information was available about the suspected perpetrators and the type of action taken by local authorities. A small proportion of cases received by the rights organizations were solved and the alleged perpetrators sentenced; these cases were therefore not included. Cases that remain unsolved but where the suspected perpetrator's identity could not be confirmed were also excluded, such as the March 1997 grenade attack on a demonstration in Phnom Penh, which killed at least sixteen people. Nonetheless, the circumstances under which the killings took place were not completely clear for all of the cases. In some provinces the local staff of the human rights organizations encountered difficulties in obtaining information about cases from the authorities, who were not always forthcoming in providing information about what sort of action had been taken.

Despite the limitations of the research, the investigation gives an idea of the possible scope of unpunished killings allegedly committed by state agents, which averages at least twelve killings per month for the period under review. The human rights organizations would welcome the Royal Cambodian Government's collaboration with them in obtaining further details on all of the cases, in order to effectively push for action on these murders and justice for the victims.

Human Rights Watch
Asia Division

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

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We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Cynthia Brown, program director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance and administration director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Susan Osnos, associate director; Jemera Rone, counsel; Wilder Tayler, general counsel; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Asia division was established in 1985 to monitor and promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights in Asia. Sidney Jones is the executive director; Mike Jendrzejczyk is the Washington director; Patricia Gossman is the senior researcher; Jeannine Guthrie is NGO liaison; Sara Colm, Gary Risser and Smita Narula are researchers; Mickey Spiegel is a consultant; Liz Weiss and Tom Kellogg are associates. Andrew J. Nathan is chair of the advisory committee and Orville Schell and Ko-Yung Tung are vice chairs.

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176 While many types of human rights abuses are committed in Cambodia, executions were chosen as a research topic in order to limit the scope of the study in order to more carefully analyze trends and results of impunity. It should be noted that for Licadho, for example, executions represented only 23 percent of all complaints received and investigated in 1998, when other key violations included torture, assault, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention, rape, and human trafficking.

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