Rights Worker Appeal Dismissal of His Complaint in R’kiri

An investigator for rights group Adhoc in Ratanakkiri province has appealed to the Court of Appeal requesting that charges be laid over what he claims was an illegal police raid on his home in Banlung City in 2007.

Chhay Thy, 42, laid a complaint at Ratanakkiri Provincial Court in December 2007, alleging that two Banlung City deputy police chiefs, Puth Savy and Ma Buntung, illegally searched his home while he was at a march with local ethnic minority groups protesting against illegal land grabs in the area.

Last month, however, court prosecutor Ros Saram dismissed the complaint, citing a lack of evidence. In response to the decision, Mr Thy submitted an appeal through the provincial court on Wednesday.

Mr Thy said yesterday it was unacceptable that the court had decided not to process his appeal. “The two cops raided and searched all of the stuff in my home,” he said of the Dec 2007 incident.

Mr Thy’s complaint alleges police intimidation against Jarai ethnic villagers staying at his home in the days leading up to the march on Dec 19, 2007 and asks the Court of Appeal to overrule Mr Saram’s decision.

Mr Saram said yesterday that Mr Thy’s appeal would be forwarded on to the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh to consider.

“I had heard he submitted the appeal over my decision not to process his complaint,” Mr Saram said, adding that he had dismissed the complaint because he believed there was insufficient evidence to press charges against the accused officers.

The two officers, Mr Savy and Mr Buntung, yesterday continued to deny Mr Thy’s allegations about the raid on his home.

“I know Mr Thy, which is why I dropped by his home [that day],” Mr Savy said. “I think that this rights worker is exaggerating the facts to frame…police.”

Mr Buntung said he was not worried about Mr Thy’s appeal. “I don’t care which levels of judicial institutions he is submitting a complaint to, because I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

 

 

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