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Group says robbery suspects tortured

Group says robbery suspects tortured

THE Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee called Wednesday for an investigation into the alleged torture of five robbery suspects who were arrested in Battambang province late last month.

In a letter submitted to the Battambang provincial prosecutor, the coalition of rights groups pushed for an investigation of the military police officers responsible for the suspects' detention.  

The five suspects were arrested in Battambang's Bavel district on January 31 in connection with a robbery committed the day before, Yin Mengly, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, told the Post Thursday. They were initially detained in the district prison before being transferred to Battambang provincial prison.

At a February 3 court hearing, Yin Mengly said, the suspects appeared to have been brutally beaten.

"They were seriously injured, with scars and bruises all over their bodies," Yin Mengly said, adding that he believed the bruises were inflicted with a bat and were part of an attempt to get the suspects to confess.

Por Vannak, military police commander in Battambang province, denied the torture allegations and accused rights groups of reflexively supporting  suspected criminals.

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