The deputy chief of Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison assaulted a female prisoner after she had an argument with a fellow prisoner during their exercise time yesterday morning, a prison guard told the Post.
The guard, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said deputy prison chief Oeur Saroeun had slapped 26-year-old Chhoeuth Srey Ya – who is in jail for drug distribution charges and has a one-year-old daughter living with her there – twice.
“He got angry with this female prisoner . . . so he slapped her face with two hands,” the guard said.
Oeur Saroeun could not be contacted for comment, but prison chief Colonel Hin Sophal denied the course of events, saying Saroeun had merely pushed Srey Ya into her cell after she cursed at other prison guards.
“She has often asked to be allowed to deliver food she cooked in her cell to her friends in other cells; when guards did not allow her to do so – she called them ‘guard dogs’,” said Sophal.
He said that Sareoun had merely gone to “advise” her and did not physically assault her as alleged.
Chea Sothea, rights group Licadho’s provincial prison researcher, said the organisation would conduct an investigation into the assault today.