Court Summons Policeman Accused of Torture

Kampot Provincial Court’s chief prosecutor said Wednesday he had issued a second summons for a Kompong Chamrong com­mune police officer whom rights groups have accused of torturing a pregnant woman.

Ouk Kimsith declined to identify the policeman, but said he had sum­moned him for questioning, along with Yann Thorn, the commune’s deputy police chief.

Ouk Kimsith also said that he suspected Kampot district Police Chief Sam Ouk had issued the or­ders to the commune police that could have resulted in the mistreatment of Tep Neang, 37, who lost her fetus while in police custody. He said he would call Sam Ouk in for an interview.

The two commune police officials apprehended Tep Neang on Aug 18 for brawling with her neighbor over a shared property boundary.

They tried to haul her away in a horse cart, but Tep Neang jumped out. Police then cuffed her hands and feet and returned her to the cart bed, holding her down with wooden benches pressed across her belly, according to Adhoc provincial director Try Chhoun.

After 6 km of rough road rocking her abdomen into the res­traints, Tep Neang bled heavily between her legs, Try Chhoun said.

Try Chhoun also said that Tep Neang had been examined by a doctor before the police arrived, and was assured the fetus was fine.

Try Chhoun said Wednesday that she had met with Ouk Kim­sith Tuesday to urge him to investigate the case further. The pros­ecu­tor had earlier expressed doubts that police were responsible for the miscarriage.

But she said she learned in their meeting that Ouk Kimsith was displeased with the police for arresting Tep Neang without a warrant and not informing him of their action.

Meanwhile, Provincial Judicial Police Chief In Chiva left his files on the case Wednesday with Na­tion­al Police Director General Hok Lundy. The two were scheduled to meet about the incident but Hok Lundy was busy with oth­er matters, In Chiva said.

He also said he would suspend the commune police officers if Adhoc found enough evidence against them.

 

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