Family of killed Cambodian political activist flees country

The family of slain political activist Kem Ley have left Cambodia for an undisclosed location, fearing for their personal safety, local media reported Wednesday. 

The family will likely seek asylum in either Australia or the United States, according to the Cambodia Daily. It is still unknown where Bou Rachana, Kem Ley's widow, and her children travelled to.

"They are in a second country under UN hands, and then (the) UN will take care (of) everything," an unnamed family friend told the newspaper. "They are in a safe place."

The friend said there were a number of reasons why the family left, including multiple instances in which they were followed by unknown people.

Kem Ley was gunned down on July 10 at a Phnom Penh petrol station, in what was widely seen as a politically motivated killing, although the alleged shooter claimed it was over an unsettled debt.

Ley was a critic of the government and also the founder of the Grassroots Democratic Party, which had seen success in rural parts of Cambodia and was viewed as a potential challenger to the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) in the 2017 local elections.

Kem Ley's funeral on July 24 saw tens of thousands of Cambodians take to the streets to accompany his coffin. At its height, the funeral procession stretched several kilometres. 

Last update: Wed, 31/08/2016 - 11:57
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