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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rights group decries shackling of suspect by police in Kampot

Rights group decries shackling of suspect by police in Kampot

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Police use shackles to restrain alleged thief Chheun Bory.

Police admit to restraining accused robber but say it was to prevent him from killing himself.

A LOCAL rights group has condemned the shackling of a young man suspected of robbery by Kampot provincial police, saying the boy was unfairly chained by the neck, hands and legs.

Thlang Pherin, chief of police in Kampot province, admitted Monday that Chheun Bory, 21, had been shackled by the neck, but that it had been a precautionary matter because he had seemed suicidal.

"We put handcuffs on him while we asked him to show us money that he stole from a tourist, and he tried to jump off a mountain to kill himself," he said.

"The next morning when we took him to the place again, we decided to use shackles on his neck and legs because we didn't know what he would do."

Thlang Pherin said the shackles were taken off Chheun Bory at the police station.

"If he didn't try to kill himself, we would not have used shackles. We would not care less, but we must take measures to protect him first before something happens," he said.

Try Chhuon, Adhoc's provincial coordinator, said she believed police had shackled Chheun Bory deliberately to humiliate him.

"Shackling a suspect like this causes the individual to lose their rights and honour. The police did this so that they could look down on the suspect, as they believe he is less honourable than an animal," she said.

Pao Son, the chief of Treuy Koh commune, said he "did not know" if the suspect had been shackled by the police or not. He said Chheun Bory was arrested for allegedly robbing a foreigner of around US$3,400 after helping him repair his motorbike. He later tried to burn the cash, Pao Son said.

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