A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Kampong Cham locals vow not to hurt ‘sorcerer’


A man accused of sorcery in Kampong Cham province earlier this week. Photo supplied
A man accused of sorcery in Kampong Cham province earlier this week. Photo supplied
Kampong Cham locals vow not to hurt ‘sorcerer’
Fri, 20 May 2016 ppp
Phak Seangly


Police in Kampong Cham’s Batheay district called a meeting yesterday in an attempt to put an end to dangerous allegations of sorcery against a man who has already suffered two vicious axe attacks as a result of them.

Sun Sath, 56, said yesterday that a neighbour in Troap commune’s Purusey village who blamed his supposed use of black magic for the death of his father attacked him before Khmer New Year with an axe.

Previously, in 2008, he said another villager and an accomplice struck him nine times with axes while he was walking alone in a paddy field. The man blamed him for his 10-year-old son’s death, Sath said.

According to local Licadho monitor Vorn Seng Thuy, who has been following the case, after the latest attack, representatives of 188 families thumbprinted a petition calling for Sath to be expelled from the village.



Since then, Sath has been taking refuge in the Batheay district police station.

In response to the situation, Batheay district deputy police chief Duong Nha said he summoned six representatives of the villagers to the police station to settle the dispute.

“They reached a deal, they will stop accusing him [of sorcery], and he swore to the villagers that he did not know how to practice sorcery,” Nha said.

But Sath is still afraid, he said yesterday, uncertain whether the 188 families who called for his expulsion would be convinced by the six who pledged not to harm him.

Licadho’s Thuy said yesterday that two Kampong Speu men were stabbed to death and beheaded in recent months following accusations of sorcery.

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