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No charges for gun-firing captain

A local military police captain faces a series of humiliating punishments – but no criminal charges – after being arrested for threatening others with his gun and firing “anarchically” in Sen Sok district.

Ouk Synoreak, 45, was arrested by Sen Sok district police on Saturday night after drunkenly shooting his gun in the air. He then fled the scene, but returned half an hour later and threatened onlookers with his weapon before being arrested, police said.

“I don’t have the right to punish him, but I cooperated with military police in the district to subdue him and arrest him and then we sent him to the Phnom Penh municipal military police office to punish him according to the law,” Sen Sok district police chief Mok Hong said.

Rather than sending the captain to face charges in municipal court, Phnom Penh municipal military police chief Ya Kim Y said the officer was being punished “according to our rules”.

“We shaved his head, fined him and ordered him to work in the military barracks until he changes his attitude and promises not to do that again,” Ya Kim Y said. “Then, we will set him free.”

Ya Kim Y said Ouk Synoreak was being punished “as an example for other officials, so that they will not use their guns anarchically”.

“He doesn’t have to face the court because he has not shot anyone in order to injure or kill them yet, but we need to suspend him from work for a short time and let him stay in the military barracks in order to collect rubbish, clean the toilets and do some other work,” Ya Kim Y said.

Am Sam Ath, a senior monitor with local rights group Licadho, said Ouk Synoreak should face charges within the Kingdom’s legal system in addition to the administrative discipline.

“He has to be sent to the court and punished through the law for abusing his position and disturbing the peace,” Am Sam Ath said.

“His role is to use his gun to protect people and society, not to use it anarchically and threaten people like this.”



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