Mother files police brutality complaint in Poipet

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 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 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, Adhoc provincial coordinator, said he plans to submit the complaint to the provincial court prosecutor and 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 that take the opportunities to hurt others.”

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