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Arrest made in Koh Kong abuse case

A KOH KONG woman accused of beating her 12-year-old stepson was questioned at the provincial court on Friday after her arrest one day earlier, a police official said.

Tat Koynor, the police chief of Khemarak Phoumin town, confirmed Sunday that the woman had been taken into police custody. “This woman did not beat the boy to make him be a good child. She beat him like he was her enemy,” he said.

“I think it is better if this kind of person is sent to prison to make a point that other people should not follow her example.”

The boy’s stepmother forced him to earn money for the family by collecting rubbish and selling the scraps. When he didn’t earn enough money, he was beaten, and when he earned too much, the stepmother also beat him, accusing him of stealing, said Chhin Chamroeun, a provincial monitor for rights group Adhoc.

“It is a good lesson for other mothers not to beat their children seriously,” she said.

Tob Chhun Heng, Koh Kong provincial prosecutor, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district, an Adhoc monitor filed a complaint to police on Tuesday, alleging that a 16-year-old girl has received similar abuse from her aunt since age 10.

“The police, local authorities and I called the girl in so that we could check over her body, and we found more than 20 wounds, both old and new, on her body,” said Sim Sorphea, head of Adhoc’s women’s rights programme in Kampot.

She added that the girl has also been kept from attending school.

Soun Toeng, Lob village police chief, said the girl’s aunt told him she beat the girl “because she did not work quickly enough”. He said that the woman had agreed to cease the beatings, but that he will file a complaint to the provincial court if she mistreats her niece again.

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