Lawmaker Demands Action Over Bar Shootings

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovann has written to the ministries of Interior and Defense demanding action over a string of recent incidents in which police and soldiers shot women working in night entertainment spots but avoided prosecution.

“The two ministries must ar­rest those suspects and send them to court for punishment. They must stop giving immunity. It is a bad example and encourages other armed officials to shoot other victims,” Yim Sovann said by telephone Thursday.

Yim Sovann said he would seek Prime Minister Hun Sen’s in­tervention if the ministers did not punish the offenders.

In the last three months, three beer promotion girls and a kar­a­oke singer have been reported shot by soldiers and police officers.

The incidents have prompted managers from the Danish brewer Carlsberg, which now owns a 50 percent share in Angkor beer maker Cambrew Ltd, to outline new policies to ensure the safety of its promotion girls, said SRP mem­ber Mu Sochua.

Carlsberg representatives will be in Cambodia next weekend to discuss a new policy to combat sexual harassment and violence, she said.

In his letter to Interior Minister Sar Kheng, dated Monday, Yim Sovann called for the arrest of an anti-drug department police officer who shot a karaoke singer in the hand on April 13 in the nightclub X2.

In his letter to Defense Min­ister Tea Banh, dated May 3, Yim So­vann said he wanted to see the arrest of soldiers from RCAF’s controversial Brigade 70 who shot a beer promotion girl in the foot at Ruk Kha II restaurant because she didn’t bring them ice fast enough.

Tea Banh said he would not ar­rest his soldiers.

“Both the victim and my officials have a mutual understanding, so I do not care to comment,” the de­fense minister said.

“I will not arrest them. The scale of the mistake is small be­cause it was an accident,” he said, adding that the victim had been compensated by the B-70 soldiers but he declined to say how much.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng could not be reached for comment, but his spokesman said that an investigation was under way.

“Those who commit a crime cannot be outside the law. We are investigating them,” Interior Min­ister spokesman Khieu So­pheak said.


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