Magawa the rat, who was awarded a gold medal for his heroism, is retiring from his job detecting landmines. In a five-year career, the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia. But his handler Malen says the seven-year-old African giant pouched rat is “slowing down” as he reaches old age, and she wants to “respect his needs”.
The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power since 1985, claimed a landslide victory in a general election without any major challengers. Critics called the vote a sham after the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) dissolved following its narrow loss in the previous election. Official results are expected in mid-August.
Australian filmmaker James Ricketson was sentenced to six years in Cambodian prison after being convicted of espionage. Ricketson worked as a journalist and video documenter in Cambodia since 1995 and was arrested in 2017 for flying a drone at a political rally. Ricketson’s family called on the Australian government to pressure Cambodia to release him.
A notorious executioner for Cambodian leader Pol Pot who was responsible for 14,000 murders has died in jail. Kaing Guek Eav or ‘Comrade Duch’ was the first member of the Khmer Rouge leadership to face trial for his role within a regime blamed for at least 1.7 million deaths in the “killing fields” of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.