RECEIVING no response from Koh Kong provincial court, three men have filed complaints to the rights group Licadho claiming to have been beaten by Military Police in three separate cases from January to February this year.
Provincial Licadho coordinator In Kongchit said the three victims suffered serious injuries when beaten by a Thma Bang district deputy police chief, a provincial policeman and four Khemarak Pumin town military police officers, none of whom have been questioned.
“These are real offences, but so far, the perpetrators are at large, so it’s still a threat to the victims,” Kongchit said, adding that he had forwarded the complaints to the Koh Kong court immediately upon receiving them. “We urged the court to take action but the court officer made excuses.”
Kongchit said the court is often reluctant to take action against the rich and powerful, but has no qualms taking cases filed by those of higher status.
Sun Sarath, 32, one of the three who filed complaints, said he was merely selling food on the street in February when an argument ensued with three local military police officers who beat him in the head with wooden chairs and sticks.
“I have been waiting for justice, but the court has not told me when they will hear my case. Maybe they are in cahoots with the military police,” Sarath said, adding that he now suffers from memory loss due to his head injuries.
“I asked the court to please render me justice and prosecute the perpetrators so that they stop acting violently and illegally on the innocent,” he added.
Por Doeurn, 45, has also been awaiting legal action to be taken against a provincial military police officer, Sok Kimlong, who he claims punched him and kicked him in the chest before attempting to strangle him after an argument in February. Doeurn says the same officer has gone unpunished, and has injured 10 other villagers.
“The officer has money and power, and he used violence, knocking me unconscious. He is still at large, but when a simple citizen is wrong, they are quickly imprisoned,” he said.
Provincial deputy prosecutor, Srey Markny, is now working on the cases but had no previous knowledge of them, according to Kongchit.
“I personally asked him about the cases, but he claimed he was busy. The court often does not want to talk,” he said.