The families of two suspects who are being detained at Ratanakkiri provincial prison lodged a complaint with a local human rights group against prison guards who they say have tortured inmates, officials said Thursday.
The complaint, made March 11, alleges that prison guards Kong Tin, 28, and Toy Prel, 25, ordered three unnamed prison inmates to severely beat Saroeun Toeung and another man known only as Sarith. Their ages are unknown.
Saroeun Toeung and Sarith were arrested and put in prison last week after being accused of attacking relatives of the two prison guards with machetes during a drinking ceremony at Yeak Lom commune, according to the complaint filed with rights group Adhoc on Tuesday.
A copy of the complaint said that the two prison guards took revenge by ordering three unnamed inmates to beat the two prisoners unconsciousness.
“It was a serious violation of human rights,” Adhoc provincial coordinator Pen Bonnar said Thursday. “I will forward this case to the courts.”
He said that the attack was not the first of its kind to have taken place in the prison, but that such acts usually go unreported because the victims and their relatives, in most cases, fear that lodging a complaint will attract more retaliatory beating from prison guards.
Director of Ratanakkiri prison Ngin Nel declined to give details on the alleged attack when contacted Thursday. However, he promised to take action if enough evidence arises to implicate the officers.
“I cannot give any conclusion. I cannot say who is right and [who is] wrong,” Ngin Nel said. “There was revenge [but] the injuries are not serious.”