B’Bang Prison Standoff Videos Burned: Police

Oddor Meanchey province po­lice have burned some 100 DVDs of the bloody Battambang prison standoff—during which at least eight prisoners and a guard were kill­ed—after seizing them from mar­kets in recent weeks, police said Sunday.

The chilling DVDs and VCDs, which appear to show that police special forces gunned down the hostage takers as they cowered behind two motorcycles in the sealed-off jail compound, were burned in a ceremony Thursday, said Provincial Police Chief Prach Rim.

“Our police have confiscated them from the vendors and asked them to sign agreements not to sell the DVDs again,” he said by telephone.

Police collected the banned DVDs last week, and 34 DVD sellers were held for education and then released, he said.

The footage was burned along with some 1,500 pornographic DVDs.

The footage of the June 18 attempted jailbreak appears to strongly contradict police reports that the prisoners killed themselves with a grenade after they realized their escape bid had failed.

After a copy was leaked to the media, the Interior Ministry in August ordered the DVDs to be confiscated and for the videomaker to be arrested.

Chan Soveth, an Adhoc investigator, accused police of trying to hide what really occurred inside the jail. “They have tried to prevent the public from knowing the cruel activities,” Chan Soveth said.

Chhoeung Sokhom, Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief, said police seized some 100 DVDs of the standoff last month, and educated the sellers. Police are looking for people importing the DVDs into Banteay Meanchey, he said.

So Sam An, Battambang first deputy police chief, said police have confiscated no jailbreak DVDs in his province because they are no longer for sale.

Despite an investigation, the videomaker has not been identified, he said. He denied that police shot at and killed the hostage takers, maintaining that the hostage takers were killed by their own grenade.

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