Intervention Police Seek Help of Rights Group

In an about-face from the intervention police unit’s traditionally antagonistic relationship with rights workers, about 10 officers sought help from the Cambodian Center for Human Rights on Monday, complaining that their deputy chief is trying to have them fired for going on strike.

“We are asking the Cambodian Center for Human Rights to help us because there has been no solution since we held the strike,” officer Chan Bun Thoeurn said Monday.

The intervention police still haven’t received their full salaries since their strike, and the unit’s Deputy Chief Touch Yean has been trying to find those who walked off the job so he can fire them, Chan Bun Thoeurn claimed.

On Nov 24, about 70 intervention officers, renowned for quashing public protests and strikes, went on strike after being docked pay for not being at their headquarters for their entire 24-hour shifts.

One of the officers, You Va, charged that he was stripped and beaten before being detained for three days and four nights because he was on strike.

The officers returned to work on Dec 6 with promises they would not be punished and would receive a portion of their salaries back.

On Monday, the 10 officers were interviewed by CCHR in a program aired on Beehive Radio later the same evening.

“I want the radio station to air our concerns to the government to solve our problem and fire Touch Yean,” You Va said.

You Va has filed a complaint at Phnom Penh Municipal Court and asked that Touch Yean and fellow officer Meas Pov Sopheak pay $4,000 compensation. “I want the court to find justice for me,” he said.

Repeated calls to Touch Yean were unsuccessful Monday. On Nov 30, he said he had ordered You Va punished and detained for not obeying orders.

Contacted Monday, Deputy National Police Chief Mao Chandara chided the intervention police officers for the strike. “Some bad officers did not come to work and then they caused the strike,” he said.

 

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