Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Complaint possible in police shooting

Complaint possible in police shooting

Complaint possible in police shooting

THREE men who were shot during an altercation with police in Kampong Thom’s Santuk district last week plan to meet with workers from the rights group Adhoc today to discuss the possibility of filing a criminal complaint – despite the fact that they remain in hiding and refuse to go back to Kampong Thom themselves.

On the afternoon of March 7, police opened fire on a group of 40 villagers who had returned to a section of land in Kraya commune from which 1,700 families were evicted last December. Local authorities have said the police were acting in self-defence after being provoked by the villagers.

Police on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against eight villagers for their alleged involvement in the altercation, though the three men who suffered bullet wounds were not among those listed. Nevertheless, all three – 59-year-old Chhum Chhorn, 37-year-old Tuot Chanka and his younger brother, 35-year-old Tuot Veasna – have fled Kampong Thom province for fear they will be arrested.

Luon Bunthy, who helped bring the three men to hospital after the shooting, said Sunday that they planned to file a criminal complaint of their own soon, adding that he and other villagers would join them.

“We are afraid to go back to Kampong Thom because they have threatened to arrest us, so we are not sure that we can file a complaint against police who shot our villagers or not. But we really want to file a complaint against them, because the shooting was a sign of anarchy,” Luon Bunthy said.

Chhum Chhorn, who, like the other two injured men, has relocated to Kampong Cham province, said, “If we go back to Kampong Thom they will arrest us, so tomorrow we will talk with the provincial Adhoc officials here to see what we can do to file a complaint against them.”

Officials in Kampong Thom have said they have no intention of seeking the arrest of the injured men, a statement that Santuk district governor Pich Sophea reiterated on Sunday.

Chan Soveth, a senior investigator for Adhoc, which filed its own complaint last week, said the rights group had already prepared the documents for the complaint to be filed on behalf of the injured men.

He compared the Kraya case to an ongoing land row in Siem Reap province, adding that he hoped the Kraya case would be handled differently.

On March 22 of last year, officers opened fire on a group of villagers from Chi Kraeng commune who refused to leave land that Siem Reap governor Sou Phirin had ruled belonged to neighbouring Anlong Samnor commune. Nine villagers are currently behind bars because of their alleged involvement in the incident, but no police have been arrested or charged.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Phnom Penh smothered in smelly, dangerous haze as landfill fire continues burning

    A putrid haze that has bedeviled Phnom Penh since Monday night will likely continue as a landfill in Dangkao district continued to burn on Friday, creating health risks for the capital's residents. Workers at the Dangkao landfill on site on Friday attributed the fire, which