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Child beaten, tied up for scrap metal hunt

120419_05

Oddar Meanchey provincial court officials plan to summon the owner of an ice factory who, along with his employees, allegedly hit and tied up a 9-year-old boy he accused of picking up scrap metal outside his Anlong Veng district factory last week.

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Provincial prosecutor Koy Kanya told the Post yesterday that he decided to investigate the case after seeing pictures provided by a local reporter.

“It looks like ... an abuse of the child’s rights. If he did wrong or stole something, the owner has to send him to the police. They should not [take the law into their own hands],” he said, adding that he will first talk to the child and his parents.

The boy’s mother, who declined to be named, said yesterday that she does not plan to sue the factory owner as she fears it will turn into a problem for her family.

“I don’t want to file a complaint or demand compensation from the factory owner,” she said, but added that she is angry they beat her son.

“My son told me that they hit his face two times and kicked him two times as well. He was sick after they beat him, but he is better today,” she said.

Chan Thy, the Kampuchea Thmey reporter who shot the photo, said the boy had been tied to a fence for about 20 minutes before factory workers came out and released him, adding that he had been to the boy’s home and believed he was not a scrap metal collector.

The ice factory owner, Mao Sem, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The incident carries echoes of an episode last month in Battambang province, in which a father beat his teenage son and chained him to a pole in his village.

Police are still trying to find the father, 40-year-old moto-dop Sok Thoeun, who fled after the incident.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at mom.kunthear@phnompenhpost.com

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