Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison guards on trial for torture

Prison guards on trial for torture

Prison guards on trial for torture

Three jail guards and two former colleagues will appear in a Kampong Cham court on

August 30 charged with torture. The case marks the first time in nearly ten years

that prison staff have been prosecuted for such offenses.

The men are alleged to have punched, kicked and beaten five prisoners who tried to

escape from Kampong Cham's prison on December 13, 1999. Several of the prisoners

were knocked unconscious in the attack, which reportedly took place in front other

prisoners to deter others.

Human rights group Licadho, which released a study of torture in prisons two years

ago, called the case "a critical test of the judiciary's willingness to uphold

Cambodia's strict laws against torture". The NGO said the last prosecution of

a prison official for torture was in 1993. Jason Barber of Licadho's Project Against

Torture, said such trials were rare.

"Unfortunately there is not much willingness ... to investigate crimes against

those in custody," he said.

Prosecutor Ouk Touch played down the case saying it was not a "serious offense"

as it was difficult to recapture escaped prisoners simply by talking to them.

Sam Ni, deputy director at the Department of Prisons, said he was pleased such trials

took place, but disputed the allegations in this case. He said the prisoners were

injured when they fought the guards after their recapture.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all

  • Ex-RFA journos accuse outlet

    Two former Radio Free Asia journalists held a press conference yesterday claiming they are each owed $28,000 by the US-funded radio broadcaster, which shuttered its in-country operations in September amid a government crackdown on independent media. The journalists, Sok Ratha and Ouk Savborey, maintained they organised