Adhoc Activist Claims Home Searched Illegally

An Adhoc activist in Ratanakkiri province filed a complaint on Tues­day with the provincial court against two deputy police chiefs for allegedly searching his house without a warrant.

Adhoc activist Chhay Thy said Wednesday that he named Banlung district officers Puth Savy and Ma Buntung in the suit, which stemm­ed from the search of his home on the afternoon of Dec 19. The search followed a peaceful protest in Banlung town that was broken up by police using fire trucks and water hoses.

Chhay Thy said the two police officers came to his house and took photographs and counted motorbikes and bags belonging to the protesters, around 60 of whom had spent the night there.

“They have violated my rights by searching the house without a court warrant,” Chhay Thy said, adding that only his 14-year-old son had been present when Puth Savy and Ma Buntung arrived at the house.

“I want them to be punished ac­cording to the law,” he said.

Provincial court Prosecutor Mey Sokhan could not be contacted, but his clerk Prak Soeun said the court had accepted the suit.

“If going to search a house, they have to have a warrant from the court,” Prak Soeun said.

Contacted by phone, Puth Savy and Ma Buntung denied searching the Adhoc activist’s house, saying that they went to protect the protesters’ belongings from being stolen.

“As the district deputy police chief, I have the right to provide security for the villagers,” Puth Savy said. He admitted, however, that he took one photograph with his mo­bile phone.

“I just took a photograph for fun,” Puth Savy said. “There is nothing against the law.”

Ma Buntung said that he went to guard motorbikes at Chhay Thy’s house.

“I didn’t dare search the house,” he said. “We just sat for fun and helped look after the motorbikes,” he added.

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