Rainsy Men Allege Beatings Ra

Two Sam Rainsy Party workers claimed they were beaten and held for nine hours in the Bassac squatter camp in Phnom Penh on Sunday.

Hak Vuth, 38, and Mai Man, 42, party organizers from Takeo province, said they were beaten and ab­duc­ted by four men in Village 15 of the squatter camp at 3 am while looking for a relative.

When Hak Vuth was found with Sam Rainsy Party identification, the two were beaten further and held in nearby Village 14 until a human rights worker secured their release at about 12:30 pm, a rights worker confirmed.

Village 15 in the squatter camp has been the scene of four similar beatings and abductions of Sam Rainsy Party workers over the past three weeks, according to a  report on political intimidation released last week from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Sam Rain­sy Party headquarters is located directly across the street from the camp on Sothearos Bou­levard.

Kim Lay, Village 15 chief, de­nied at 11:30 am Sunday that anyone had been abducted earlier that morning. In an interview last week, he also denied that anyone from the Sam Rainsy Party had been previously beaten or abducted in the village.

A UN human rights worker was also beaten there in early April while investigating the organization of anti-Funcinpec rallies.

Hak Vuth suffered a broken tooth Sunday after being hit in the jaw with a pistol, he said. He also displayed evidence of being kicked in the legs and receiving a blow to the ribs.

Mai Man, who is handicapped from polio, was only struck once in the face by a flashlight when first set upon by the men. He had hidden his Sam Rainsy Party identification card in his underwear and told the abductors that he was a CPP member, he said.

The two victims said they had arrived in Phnom Penh late from Takeo province and had spent most of the night unsuccessfully looking for relatives. They had not been informed by the party about past incidents in the camp, they said.

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