This is an interview with Rich Garella, co-producer of the independent film Who Killed Chea Vichea.
In early 2004, Chea Vichea, a prominent labor rights activist, was murdered in the streets of Cambodia outside of a newspaper stand. Afterwards, two young Cambodian men were arrested and charged with Chea’s murder. Many believe, based on the lack of convincing evidence of their guilt, that they were framed for Chea’s murder.
The two men were sentenced to 20 years in prison, and the prime minister, Hun Seng, who was up for re-election at the time of Chea’s murder, was elected prime minister for another term. Many believe Chea’s assassination and the incarceration of two young men for his murder were carried out at the behest of the prime minister in an effort to maintain his hold on power in Cambodia.
Over the course of the interview, Cambodia history and politics are discussed in an effort to give context to Chea’s murder and the subsequent alleged frame-up of the two men. As well, in relationship to the central concern of “On the Block Radio” show–the United States criminal justice system–comparisons are made between the unethical behavior of police in Cambodia and that of police in the United States.