Widow of Slain Cambodian Critic Gives Birth to a Baby Boy in Exile

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Bou Rachana, widow of slain critic Kem Ley, at a hospital after she delivered Kem Ley Virakboth, Oct. 3, 2016.
Bou Rachana, widow of slain critic Kem Ley, at a hospital after she delivered Kem Ley Virakboth, Oct. 3, 2016.
Bou Rachana

Bou Rachana, widow of slain government critic Kem Ley, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday in the secret location where she and her children await an asylum decision.

An RFA reporter met Bou Rachana, who provided a photograph of the baby, named Kem Ley Virakboth after his father, a popular political and social critic. She declined further comment, citing security reasons and the pending decision on her asylum case.

Bou Rachana, then pregnant, and her four children fled Cambodia in August over worries about her safety following her husband's murder.

Kem Ley was gunned down in broad daylight on July 10 when he stopped in a Star Mart convenience store beside a Caltex gas station in the capital Phnom Penh.  Kem Ley was buried in southwestern Cambodia's Takeo province two weeks later after a weekend funeral procession that drew around 2 million mourners, according to funeral organizers.

Cambodian authorities have charged former soldier Oueth Ang, who said he shot Kem Ley over a U.S. $3,000 debt.

Just days before he was gunned down, Kem Ley had discussed on an RFA call-in show a report by London-based group Global Witness detailing the extent of the wealth of the family of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for 31 years.

Reported by RFA's Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

Comments (1)

Anonymous Reader

Change had to have happen in 2017 and 2018 so this wouldn't happen to other Khmer. It is not right for Khmer to flee their own country because they are terrified of their own corrupt thuggery government...

We, the people, are judges and jury. Every 5 years we will judge who is right and who is wrong, and who will get punishment.

Please remember this is not just a vote for ourselves but also for our children and grandchildren. A vote to live free, free from fearing this corrupt murderous government.

Oct 04, 2016 11:33 AM





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