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Officials investigate Thai torture claim

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered officials at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok to investigate reports that a Cambodian migrant worker was tortured to death in a Thai prison.

Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday that he had received information Khmer-language newspapers that a Cambodian migrant worker who was detained in Thailand’s Rayong province was tortured to death a few months ago.

“I passed on this information to the Cambodian embassy officials in Bangkok to investigate this case on Friday last week,” he said.

“They have received the information and will investigate as we are unsure of whether this information is 100 percent true.”

Dy Phen, chief of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Office in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, said he had yet to hear about the case, but that he would order border officials to contact Thai authorities for more information.

Spokesmen for the Thai Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment.

The unconfirmed report of torture would not be the first to have come out of Thailand this year.

In July, Koy Kuong accused Thai officers of torturing San Mony Peth, a 27-year-old Cambodian migrant worker who was detained in a crackdown on Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok in May after being accused of involvement in an arson.
Koy Kuong said at the time that the prisoner “suffered from torture” at the hands of Thai law enforcement officials.
“He suffered from torture before the Cambodian embassy visited him,” he said. “He had wounds on his chin and his chest.”
Koy Kuong said yesterday that San Mony Peth was still in pretrial detention.
“Cambodian embassy officials still visit him with his lawyer,” he said. “He is in good health.”
He said he had not received any further reports from embassy officials of torture inflicted on San Mony Peth. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CAMERON WELLS



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