Rights Group Calls for Investigation of Thai Casino Torture Case

Local human rights group Adhoc has called on the government to investigate the alleged detention and torture of a Cambodian woman at a Bangkok casino where she was employed.

In a statement released Friday, Adhoc said the government must push for a “full investigation” into the woman’s ordeal, which ended when she was rescued on Tuesday. It adds that Thai authorities “failed to take timely action in investigating the case and in ensuring full accountability of perpetrators.”

Phat Somesa, 32, from Banteay Meanchey province, had been working at a Poipet casino for two years before recently moving to work at a casino in Bangkok. Ms. Somesa’s family lost contact with her for two weeks beginning in late November before humiliating pictures emerged on Facebook earlier this month.

“From the 28th of November until the 17th of December 2013 she was held against her will and repeatedly beaten by her manager, who also forced her into performing degrading acts such as stripping in public and posing for semi-naked photos that were later diffused on the Internet,” Adhoc said in the statement.

“Adhoc strongly condemns the use of torture and the serious attack to human dignity through degrading and humiliating treatments inflicted to the victim,” which are in violation of a number of domestic and international laws.

The organization called on the government to take immediate action with the Royal Thai Government to push for a full investigation of the treatment of Ms. Somesa in order to find justice for the crime committed against her, Adhoc said.

Earlier this week, the victim’s brother-in-law said Ms. Somesa had contacted her family from Bangkok and told them the casino manager was threatening her and took away her savings after accusing her and another woman of helping gamblers cheat the casino.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he thought an investigation would take place.

“Since her Excellency Ambassador [to Thailand You Ay] is involved in this case, I feel that a full investigation will be taking place,” he said.

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