Police Guard Sihanoukville School After Threats

More than 20 police officials have been guarding a Sihanoukville high school 24 hours a day for the last two weeks to protect staff from the de­tained children of local government of­­f­icials, police and teachers said Thursday.

Six well-connected youths al­leg­ed­ly threatened to take revenge against staff at Stung Haw district high school as they were being taken away in handcuffs following a violent a­ttack on the school on March 7, head­master Khem Ran said.

“I have asked police to stand guard both day and night to let our teachers feel safe to teach,” he said.

District police chief Chan Dara said the six, who are being held at the municipal prison, are sons and nephews of wealthy businesspeople, provincial and military police and court officials.

The six allegedly smashed windows and destroyed office equipment after three students, brothers of gang members, were sus­pend­ed for violent behavior two days prior to the attack, Khem Ran said. The six have not been charged with any crime, officials said.

Khem Ran said all his staff are con­c­erned about their safety, al­though the six are all be­hind bars.

“Although they have been ar­rest­ed, they can threaten our lives when­­ever they are released,” he said.

District Governor Mey Kang said lo­cal officials have previously been hesi­tant to take action against the child­ren of government officials, but that this has changed and the youths are not about to be released.

“Samdech [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s words provided a sharp knife to crack down on all gangsters so we cannot let them go,” he said.

Sihanoukville court Deputy Di­rec­tor Sok Soeun said a judge is in­vesti­gating the matter.

“We will do our job to find justice for everyone,” he said.



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