Family Claims Cambodian Detainee Was Tortured to Death in Prison, Despite Suicide Ruling

A Cambodian man suffering from mental illness who died in detention in Battambang province last month was tortured and murdered by prison guards, his aunt said Friday, as a local rights group demanded a probe into his death.

On April 19, 38-year-old Orn Tith stole a car and damaged it after driving it onto private property. When his family was unable to pay for the damages, police arrested him and sent him to the Battambang Provincial Correction Center.

On April 30, prison authorities transported Orn Tith—who has been medically certified as having a mental health condition—to the Battambang Provincial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Prison officials ruled his death a suicide.

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