Men Accuse Ratanakkiri Police of Torture

Three men from Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district Thursday filed a complaint with the provincial court and rights group Adhoc against a police official they accuse of torture for beating them while they were detained.

The three men, Nop Ry, 23, Duong Deth 28, and Hoem Khoeun, also 28, filed a complaint against Seda commune police officer Thoeun Rottany the only official they could identify of a group of officers, who allegedly beat the young men during their six-hour detention at the police station on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, Mr. Deth and his friends went to a wedding Tuesday evening and decided to confront Mr. Rottany, who had allegedly beaten Mr. Deth on a different occasion.

“I spotted the guy named Ny [Rottany] who beat me up before, and I asked him why he beat me up. Then he grabbed me and handcuffed me,” Mr. Deth said, adding that his friends Mr. Khoeun and Mr. Ry witnessed the incident and confronted the five officers helping Mr. Rottany.

All three were then arrested and taken to the police station at around midnight, where they remained until about 6 a.m.

“They beat us up [for] about an hour,” Mr. Deth said, adding that about five officers had administered punches to their faces, upper bodies, legs and arms.

Soy Thay, Lumphat district police chief, on Thursday denied that any beatings had been administered by commune police and said the men had been arrested because they were drunk and disorderly.

“They are gangsters in this village,” Mr. Thay said. “The police did not beat them or anything.”

“They [police] just kept them since they got really drunk and because they might have done something else” to cause trouble, Mr. Thay said, adding that they were only held at the station until they sobered up.

Deputy provincial prosecutor Ros Saram said that he had received the complaint from Mr. Deth, Mr. Khoeun, and Mr. Ry and would summon the men and the police official next week.

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