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Commune official accepts apology from ‘violent’ police

Commune official accepts apology from ‘violent’ police

A COMMUNE official in Ratanakiri province said yesterday that she had dropped a complaint against three district police officials accused of beating her son with a stick, after the district governor negotiated an apology.

Khan Lein, second deputy chief of Ta Lav commune, said her 16-year-old son was injured when a boat he was working on was raided by Andong Meas district police on Monday last week.

“The police hit and injured my son and the other workers with a stick,” and also accepted a bribe from the boat’s owner, who was suspected of transporting illegal timber, she said. “They took US$400 from the boat owner in exchange for the release of the boat.”

Khan Lein said she had intended to file a formal complaint against the three police officials involved in the incident, but had decided to drop the complaint after the district governor mediated an agreement on Saturday.

“I agreed with the request of the district governor because we are all friends,” she said.

She added that the agreement had not involved a financial settlement from the police.

“I have not received any compensation to spend on the treatment of my son. I just wanted the three policemen to acknowledge that their action was too excessive,” she said.

District governor Nourng Darith acknowledged yesterday that it was “an illegal act for the police to hit the son of the second deputy commune chief”, but noted that the injuries sustained by the victim were “only small”.

“I scolded the three policemen and told them not to be so hyperactive in their operations,” he said.

Andong Meas district police officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Chhay Thy, a provincial investigator for the local rights group Adhoc, said that the case should have been sent to court.

“It was wrong according to the law because it was a criminal case, and the policemen must be punished according to the law,” he said.

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