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Saturday, July 4, 1998 Published at 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Amnesty blasts Cambodia's 'disgrace'

Hun Sen's troops have been blamed for the deaths

The human rights group Amnesty International has said it is disgraceful that no one has been brought to justice for political killings which took place during the coup in Cambodia a year ago.

[ image: Prince Ranariddh: fled to escape coup]
Prince Ranariddh: fled to escape coup
Scores of supporters of the First Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, were executed when the Prince was forcibly removed by co-premier Hun Sen after battles between their rival forces in the capital Phnom Penh.

In a statement Amnesty said that the elections due to take place on July 26, in which Prince Ranariddh is to take part, will not wipe the slate clean.

"It's a disgrace that one year has passed, and yet no one has been held to account for these crimes," it said.

"Scores of people were killed, hundreds were detained, dozens were tortured. General elections will not make these facts go away."

[ image: Hun Sen: let Prince Ranariddh return]
Hun Sen: let Prince Ranariddh return
Hun Sen's regime has promised to investigate the human rights abuses but United Nations officials have criticised it for failing to take any real action.

Prince Ranariddh's Funcinpec party won the most seats in Cambodia's last election in 1993, but he was pressured into accepting a power-sharing coalition with Hun Sen amid fears of renewed conflict.

The prince left Cambodia the day before last year's coup after receiving a tip-off.

The international community - including the United States, Japan and Cambodia's southeast Asian neighbours - have successfully persuaded Hun Sen's government to allow Prince Ranariddh back to contest the forthcoming election.

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