Man Files Complaint to Rights Group Against Police Brutality

Claims he was detained and beaten for crime he did not commit

A 23-year-old man from Ban­teay Meanchey province’s Poipet City has accused four Poipet commune police officers of beating him during an interrogation on Saturday.

Chan Ech said yesterday that he was detained Friday and Sat­urday by police over his all­eged con­nection with a burglary case—an allegation that he denied.

After questioning, police officers called his father to take him to a medical clinic, he said.

“I was repeatedly beaten and punched, and I almost fell unconscious,” he said.

Mr Ech accused the police officers of beating him with fists and the butt of their guns after he refused to be handcuffed. He ad­ded that he is seeking 3 million riel compensation from each po­lice officer.

Poipet city police chief Oum So­phal said his officers told him that two men, including Mr Ech, were suspected of burglary and drug use on Friday night.

“The accuser was trying to run away…which is why the police officers accidentally grabbed him a little bit too strong,” he said. “But he was not beaten, to be honest.”

He added that he plans to meet with the victim to talk about the allegations.

The victim’s mother, Sok Van­ny, said she brought her son to the local Adhoc office to file a com­­­plaint with the rights group.

Soum Chankea, the Adhoc pro­vincial coordinator, said that he plans to submit the complaint to the pro­vincial court prosecutor and then move ahead with legal action.

One of the accused officers, Ol Chantha, dismissed the allegations against him.

“Before I applied to work as a cop here, I took an oath swearing to work for this country,” he said. “I am innocent, but I acknowledge that there are some bad cops who take the opportunities to hurt others.”

 

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