PHNOM PENH, Feb. 4, 2004�2003 was Cambodia�s most violent year since the 1998 elections, with the number of political activists killed jumping by 52 percent from a year earlier, according to two Cambodian human rights groups.
In 2003, 33 activists were murdered by guns, grenades, or axes, including 12 Sam Rainsy Party activists, 10 FUNCINPEC activists, and 11 ruling Cambodian People�s Party activists, according to the Cambodian human rights group Adhoc.
�The year  saw anti-Thai riots in January; the slaying of high-ranking officials including Mr. Om Rathsady, Venerable Sam Bunthoeun who was killed in February while at his monastery, judge Sok Setha Mony in April, and 27 political party activists attacked prior to the election of July 27, 2003,� Adhoc wrote in its 2003 annual report on human rights in Cambodia.
�In the post-election period, there were the shootings of Mr. Chuor Cetharidh, a reporter for Radio Ta Prum, and a popular singer, Miss Touch Sunnich, causing her serious injury while her mother died at the scene,� Adhoc� s report said, citing some of the high-profile attacks on opposition party supporters in October 2003.
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights said in its �Report on Civil and Political Rights Violations� that 23 political activists have been murdered since the July 27 elections.
Of the 23 murdered, nine were from the Sam Rainsy Party, eight were from loyalist FUNCINPEC Party, three were from Hun Sen�s Cambodia People�s Party, and three were from other political parties in Cambodia. #####