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Military police suspended over fight

FOUR military police officers stationed along the border in Oddar Meanchey province have been suspended from duty after they allegedly fought with villagers in Samrong district on Tuesday.

Officials said six officers from Battalion 42 part of military police Brigade 424, were drinking in Chroeung village, in Konriel commune, when four of the officers allegedly attacked villagers who asked to see the officers’ identification.

Battalion 42 Commander Ben Voy told The Post yesterday that he had suspended four officers until the dispute was resolved, adding that two other officers would be “re-educated” following the incident. He claimed, however, that the officers had not caused the dispute.

“The fight wasn’t caused by a dispute between the military police and the villagers, but caused by the military police’s intervention in a dispute between villagers,” said Ben Voy.

Ben Voy said the officers were in the wrong according to military law, but that they had “fought back to protect themselves”.

“[The villagers] wished there was fighting so that they could file a complaint demanding  compensation”.

Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said that four villagers filed a complaint to Adhoc and provincial authorities on Wednesday.

“Adhoc will investigate the case this weekend, and if they find out that the military police had acted as accused by villagers, then they seriously abused human rights,” Srey Naren said.

Srey Naren said that two of the villagers were hospitalised and that one villager reported detained at a military police base in a cage only 0.6 m height, before being released on Wednesday morning.

“This is a serious punishment,” he said of the villager’s ordeal.

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