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Between January 3, 2001, and January 5, 2002, fifteen Funcinpec and SRP party members, most of whom were prospective or confirmed commune council candidates, were killed. While there is no evidence that any of the killings were directed from high levels of government, the government's lack of serious and effective action to stop the killing resulted in a climate of fear and intimidation for voters and candidates alike. The killings included the following:

    · On January 3, 2001, SRP activist Phoung Phann was shot dead at his home in Kompong Cham. A member of the military was arrested over a year later in the killing, but as yet no trial date has been set.
    · On January 14, 2001, prospective Funcinpec candidate Chhay Than was killed in Kompong Cham. Court attempts to question the suspected perpetrator, a local soldier, have so far proved unsuccessful.
    · On June 30, 2001, prospective SRP candidate Uch Horn was killed in Kompong Speu. He had previously complained to two local human rights groups and the U.N. that he had received death threats. Two local residents, one a police officer, were convicted of the murder on October 12, 2001. However, investigations by human rights NGOs also point to the possible involvement of Uch Horn's village chief in the killing.
    · On July 17, 2001, prospective Funcinpec candidate Meas Soy was shot and killed by two unidentified persons in Kompong Chhnang. A member of the military was subsequently tried for the murder, but acquitted for lack of evidence.
    · On August 23, 2001, prospective SRP candidate Touch Voeurn was shot and killed at his home in Siem Reap. On February 22, 2002, three men were convicted in the murder. The court rejected a political motive for the killing, finding instead that the murder was carried out as revenge for Voeurn's suspected "black magic". Trial observers commented that there was insufficient evidence against the alleged perpetrators, who have all launched appeals.
    · On September 21, 2001, Chhim Leang Sri, a prospective SRP candidate in Kompong Cham, was shot dead by three armed men. No suspects have been arrested.
    · On November 5, 2001, confirmed SRP candidate Sam Sophear was beaten to death by five assailants in Battambang. On February 1, 2002, seven men were sentenced to terms of between four and fifteen years in the killing. Prosecutors claimed that fellow SRP member Thach Theoun had arranged the beating due to a business dispute and his conviction - on hearsay evidence alone - meant that the court accepted a non-political motive for the killing. The alleged middleman in the killings, a former SRP member accused by the party of being a government intelligence agent, has not been apprehended by the police and was convicted in absentia.
    · On November 14, 2001, SRP member Phoung Sophat was shot dead in Kompong Cham. Two hours later, Funcinpec candidate Thon Phally was shot dead in the same commune. Two local policemen and a former militia member have been arrested in the killing of Thon Phally, with a further two suspects still at large. The proximity and similar methods used in these two killings suggest that they are related.
    · On December 8, 2001, SRP activist Ouk Sao was shot dead at his home in Kompong Thom. To date no suspects have been arrested for the killing.
    · On December 9, 2001, Funcinpec candidate Orn Chileng was fatally wounded at his home in Takeo province after being attacked with a knife and a wrench. A CPP election observer has been arrested in connection with the killing.
    · On December 14, 2001, the body of Ros Don, first-placed candidate on the Funcinpec party list for his commune, was found near a roadside in Siem Reap. Don had sustained a number of blows to the head. Police have attributed the death to an accident.
    · On January 4, 2002, third-placed Funcinpec candidate Long Kim Thon and her husband Soun Kroeun, a Funcinpec election observer, were shot dead in fields near their village in, Kampot province. On January 15 a civilian was arrested in connection with the killing.
    · On January 5, 2002, Touch Sean, a SRP candidate, was shot dead at her home in Svay Rieng province. Local authorities claim robbery as the motive for the killing. Three people have been arrested as suspects in the killing, one a district-level deputy police chief.

Human Rights Watch
Asia Division

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

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

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The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; John T. Green, operations director, Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Michael McClintock, deputy program director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Malcolm Smart, program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; 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. Mike Jendrzejczyk is the Acting Executive Director; Widney Brown is the Acting New York Director; Smita Narula, Sara Colm and Mickey Spiegel are Senior Researchers; Emily Harwell is a Fellow; Liz Weiss and Wen-hua Yang are associates. Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is Acting Chairperson of the advisory committee and Orville Schell is Vice-Chair.

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