B Meanchey Couple Allege Beating, Robbing by Military Police

A Banteay Meanchey couple said yesterday that they had filed a complaint with the human rights group Adhoc alleging that a dozen military police had robbed and beat them on Saturday night.

Ny Thea, 30, said that about 12 military police officers beat him and his cousin unconscious, broke his wife’s arm and stole a million riel, or about $250, in cash.

“These military police are using their duty to beat up innocent people,” he said. “They must be prosecuted.”

Military police strongly denied the allegations.

The incident occurred as the couple and their cousin were driving to Pailin to visit Mr Thea’s sick mother, said Mr Thea’s wife, 33-year-old Chhon Suvy. Ms Suvy said that after entering Battambang province, a Toyota Land Cruiser hit them in what seemed to be an intentional attack.

“We brought along a lot of money to pay for medical treatment of ailing mother,” she said. “So we decided to turn back for Banteay Meanchey.”

The Land Cruiser followed them aggressively after they turned around, Ms Suvy said, and soon the group found the road blocked by about 12 military police officers. Ms Suvy said that they attempted to avoid the roadblock, but the police gave chase.

The family members stopped shortly afterwards and the police then allegedly beat them and took their money, she said.

Sun Rasy, commander of the Serei Saophoan City military police, denied the allegations.

“It is not true at all,” Mr Rasy said. He said Mr Thea’s driving was at fault in the traffic accident in Battambang, which is why the vehicle chased him.

Battambang military police had contacted their Banteay Meanchey counterparts following the accident, Mr Rasy said, and told them to block the road.

“No military police hit and beat up that driver and his wife,” he said, adding that Ms Suvy had hurt her arm when exiting the car. Mr Thea’s face and head were cut, he said, because the car had rolled back and hit him after he left the vehicle.

 

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