A couple sent back to Cambodia after entering Thailand illegally has filed a complaint against Thai military police over the death of their newborn daughter, provincial police and officials from local rights group Adhoc said Thursday.
Chuon Vath, chief of Banteay Meanchey province’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said Kong Mao, 39, and his wife, Sok Ny, 20, told police they entered Thailand early last year after paying someone $100 to find them work there. But once they arrived, they were abandoned, Chuon Vath said.
They found work as sea port laborers but were arrested and imprisoned about a month later for illegally entering and working in Thailand, she said.
Banteay Meanchey Adhoc coordinator Ly Huong said Sok Ny claims she gave birth to her daughter in Thai prison on April 14 with the help of other prisoners.
“The couple was allowed to return to the country because the wife just gave birth,” Ly Huong said.
But while being transported back to Cambodia on April 26, the couple allege that Thai military police pushed Sok Ny from a truck.
One of Sok Ny’s hands was reportedly handcuffed at the time, and she was holding her 12-day-old baby in the other arm, Ly Huong said.
The couple allege that after she was pushed, Sok Ny fell on her daughter, fatally crushing her, Ly Huong said.
Police said they would investigate the couple’s allegations.
“The couple wrote in the complaint, also asking the government of Cambodia to speak with the Thai government to find justice for their daughter who died,” Ly Huong said. The couple also claim Thai officials took the baby’s body and did not return it to them, Ly Huong said.
A staff member at the Thai Embassy said no officials were available for comment on Friday. Attempts to reach embassy officials were unsuccessful Sunday.
Ly Huong said the couple suggested in their complaint that the Cambodian government find jobs for the unemployed so they will not be forced to emigrate.