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Military cop ‘beat’ man with AK-47

A worker who was allegedly badly beaten by a moonlighting member of the military police in Sihanoukville declined to press charges on Monday out of fear he would be the one jailed, police said yesterday.

Rather than file a complaint, the victim instead went to rights group Licadho due to a lack of confidence in local authorities, Commune 3 police chief Seav Sovantha said.

According to alleged victim Chhoeun Sarin, 31, the incident took place when a worker at a Borey Koch Asia construction site accidentally kicked a security guard.

A fight broke out between workers and security guards, during which a guard – who was also a member of the military police – took out his AK-47 and began beating Sarin.

Nonetheless, Sarin said it “was better to get compensation than to file a complaint”. “I did not have hope that I would find justice,” he said.

Authorities and a company representative declined to name the suspect.

Boun Narith, a Licadho coordinator, said yesterday that the guard had been fired. But, Khen Sokhum, a representative of the Sok Sambath Construction Company, claimed the perpetrator had acted in self-defence.

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