A woman in Ratanakkiri province filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc on Monday, accusing five men, including commune police officers of torturing her inside the compound of the commune police, human rights workers and police said Tuesday.
Chaing Thi Yong, 41, an ethnic Vietnamese woman, claims that police beat her repeatedly, handcuffed her to a flagpole and illegally detained her overnight after she had gotten into an argument with the owner of a coffeeshop where she used to work, Chai Ty, an Adhoc activist said Tuesday. Ms Chaing had previously filed a complaint with police in Lumphat district’s Kaleng commune, against her employer for harassing and abusing her, he added.
“Because [police] rejected to resolve her complaint, that is why she is now seeking help from human rights organizations,” Mr Chai Ty said, adding that she was handcuffed to the flagpole for over three hours and had large bruises on her left arm and both legs.
Reached by telephone Tuesday, Kaleng commune police chief Chea Nel, among those accused by Ms Chaing, dismissed the allegations.
“She is exaggerating the issue on purpose for compensation. We are the police, and we are pretty clear that we do not beat up or torture anybody,” Mr Chea Nel said, referring all other questions to Lumphat district police.
District deputy police chief Chan Narith defended his commune police, claiming that Ms Chaing was drunk and had walked into the coffeeshop and disturbed customers. After receiving complaints from the owners, police were called. She was then arrested because she was behaving violently toward the police officers, he said. While they were questioning Ms Chaing, she also destroyed a few wooden chairs at the police station, he claimed.
“Because of her violent actions in damaging police property, police were forced to handcuff her to the flagpole,” Mr Chan Narith said. “The injury on that woman’s arms and legs are not the result from torture.”