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Kem Ley’s family arrive in Australia

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times and AFP Share:
Bou Rachana and her sons were granted special humanitarian visas. Supplied

The wife and children of slain political analyst Kem Ley have arrived in Melbourne, Australia, after staying in Thailand for nearly two years while waiting to be granted residency.

Mr Ley’s wife Bou Rachana and her five sons left Cambodia for Thailand on August 28, 2016, after receiving refugee status from the UNHCR.

Venerable But Buntenh, a former member of the committee for Mr Ley’s funeral, posted on his Facebook page that Ms Rachana and her sons had arrived in Australia safely last Saturday.

“Kem Ley’s wife has done a great job because now his family has arrived in Australia,” he said.

Mr Ley was shot and killed at a gas station coffee shop in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 10, 2016.

Hong Lim, an elected member of state government in Victoria where Melbourne is the capital, told international media that he and the large Khmer community in Australia were happy the Ley family had arrived there and he hoped they would have a better life.

Mr Lim added that the next step would be to find a suitable place for the family to live and to help the children go to school.

The family was granted special humanitarian visas for those “subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of your human rights in your home country”.

They can apply for Australian citizenship after four years.

Mr Ley criticised Cambodian politicians of all shades, but he was particularly scathing about the corruption that blights the country.

Shortly before his murder he gave an interview about an investigative report that detailed some of the millions of dollars allegedly amassed by the family of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The Cambodian government strongly denied any role in his killing.

Unemployed former soldier Eurth Ang admitted carrying it out and was sentenced to life imprisonment in March after a brief trial. But many observers and members of the public were sceptical of the story, which gave the motive as an unpaid $3,000 debt. Mr Ley’s murder shocked activists and civil society, and tens of thousands attended funeral ceremonies.

With AFP

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