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Mother seeks restitution for drowned son

A MOTHER who says her only child drowned while fleeing military police in Kandal province during a raid on a cockfighting arena has demanded US$10,000 in compensation, accusing the officers of preventing bystanders from saving him.

Chan Sophea, 23, drowned when he jumped into a canal in Prek Phnau commune, Ponhea Lue district after police raided a cockfighting arena where he was engaged in illegal gambling last Wednesday.

At her son’s funeral in Photraing Sy pagoda on Monday, Chan Sopheap said she would file a complaint against local military police.

“I will file a complaint to the court against the military police next week demanding US$10,000 compensation,” she said.

Several witnesses told her that police fired shots in the air and threatened to shoot them if they attempted to save her drowning son, she said.

She accused police of “cruel inhumanity” for standing by and watching as her son was drowning.

Sau Sokunthea, deputy chief of the provincial military police said he did not know the man had drowned and denied any wrongdoing by his officers.

“No one from the military police threatened people or authorities. Our job is to ensure the people’s security,” he said.

Tan Si Thon, a cousin of Chan Sophea who witnessed his death, said that police beat him with a metal pole and threatened to shoot him if he tried to save the victim. He also demanded compensation for Chan Sopheap.

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