Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Military police accused of 'excessive' force at traffic stop

Military police accused of 'excessive' force at traffic stop

A man lies on the edge of a road with his hands and feet bound after he was detained by police in Prey Veng province
A man lies on the edge of a road with his hands and feet bound after he was detained by police in Prey Veng province last week. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Military police accused of 'excessive' force at traffic stop

National military police are launching an investigation into units in Tbong Khmum and Prey Veng provinces, following an incident in which authorities shot at, arrested and allegedly tortured two men transporting rice along National Road 11, military police spokesman Kheng Tito said yesterday.

While police reported that the truck drivers attempted to escape from a weighing station, refused to cooperate with police and caused a traffic accident, conflicting reports of the event, and the circulation of graphic images of the alleged abuse in local media, have raised questions as to whether the police response was appropriate.

On March 19 at about 9pm, Nen Sida, 30, and his nephew, Thouen Neub, 20, were driving a large Hyundai truck from Tbong Khmum province to Prey Veng province, when they reached an unusual police checkpoint, according to the driver’s older brother, Nen San.

“My brother said he thought those military police were bad people, because that site never had police or a car-weighing station before,” said San, explaining that his brother refused to stop the vehicle, fearing robbers impersonating police.

The police fired 10 bullets, shooting the front windshield and the truck’s tyre, San said, before describing how his brother and nephew were arrested, handcuffed, and allegedly beaten so severely they began to vomit blood. They were held by police for a day before being released.

San said that he has submitted the case to local police and the rights group Adhoc based in Prey Veng. He also plans to submit a complaint to the provincial court.

Sreng Chea, of the Prey Veng provincial police, also noted that while Sida was fleeing, he panicked and lost control of the truck, hitting a white Camry, causing the car to hit a pedestrian, who was slightly injured.

“Based on my inspection, the military police were wrong.… They should process this case by the law. Gunfire [should] only happen when the opposite side has gun,” said Chea. “The military police used too much force.”

Adhoc coordinator Eang Kimly said the group was weighing whether to hire a lawyer to pursue the complaint in court.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune