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Police accused of assaulting women in raid

TWO women in Banteay Meanchey province have filed a complaint against three military police officers who they say committed indecent acts against them during what police have described as a drug search.

Pum Theoun, 55, said the three military police officers arrested her and another woman and, once they were in custody, ordered them to strip before sexually assaulting them.

“I asked them many times why they were doing it and what I did wrong, but they did not say a word to me,” she said.

She added that she filed a complaint with the rights group Adhoc on Monday because the commune chief had taken no action when she reported the incident soon after it took place on January 30.

“I decided to file one more complaint to Adhoc to find justice for me. I need those military police to pay the two of us 5 million riels (US$1,196) for compensation and for them to be sentenced through the law,” she said. “They violated my rights, and I will try my best to complain about them in order to save my honor.”

Oum Phearith, provincial deputy director of the military police, said Tuesday that the three men had already been disciplined because they had failed to report the arrest. But he added that the two women were suspected drug traffickers, and that the search had been routine.

“We followed those women for a long time because it was reported that they trafficked drugs,” he said. “It is because of the carelessness of the three officers that we did not see any drugs when they checked.”

Soum Chankea, an Adhoc coordinator in Banteay Meanchey, said he was investigating the case.

“I will try my best to find justice for [the two women] because I don’t want those people to do this to other women next time,” he said.



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