Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Military police to investigate allegations of Sihanoukville violence



Military police to investigate allegations of Sihanoukville violence

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Military police are searching for its personnel who allegedly attacked handcuffed villagers in the Sihanoukville clash. Photo supplied

Military police to investigate allegations of Sihanoukville violence

Sao Sokha, the commander of the National Military Police, on Wednesday warned of legal action against the Preah Sihanouk provincial unit if it was found to have used excessive force against villagers during clashes in Prey Nop district last Thursday.

After a man was seriously injured upon being shot in the protest, a video clip appeared on Facebook purportedly showing one provincial military police officer beating a protester with an AK-47 assault rifle and another stepping on someone’s head while on the ground with his hands tied behind his back.

Sokha, who is a deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, told The Post on Wednesday that, after two days of its formation, the technical team had yet to conclude its investigations.

However, he said if it was found that Preah Sihanouk provincial military police officials had used excessive force, then they would be punished according to the law.

“The footage [appears to] show the violation of the rights of citizens by officers wearing military police uniforms while enforcing the law. This leads our investigation to [discover] how many people caused this and whether they took such action themselves or were ordered to do so.”

Read more: Families told they have ‘no right to land’ vow to fight on

He could not confirm when the investigation would end, but said it would not be prolonged and there would be a press conference upon its conclusion to show transparency.

The six-member action committee was set up on Monday under the leadership of Sao Chan Krisna, the chief of the military police’s Inspection Bureau, to carry out an investigation into the incident.

Orn Ien, 58, the mother of Pov Saroth, the shooting victim, told The Post that her son was recovering in hospital but would need treatment for months.

Ien said her family are from Battambang province but her son was working in construction for three months in Preah Sihanouk.

She said her son told her he did not participate in the protest but was riding his motorbike when he was caught up in the incident when villagers ran away en masse. She said her son did not attempt to flee as he was not involved.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Military police are searching for its personnel who allegedly attacked handcuffed villagers in the Sihanoukville clash. Photo supplied

According to a report by Yun Min, the governor of Preah Sihanouk province, which was submitted to Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, the military police team had been instructed by the provincial committee before the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling that shooting was against the rules of engagement.

He said police may have shot in the air as a warning but shooting a protester would not have been ordered by anyone.

Soeung Sen Karuna, a spokesman and human rights monitor with rights group Adhoc said: “If the committee is really willing, it will take action against the lower authorities.

“We will follow up further as to what action they will take and whether they take action in accordance with the law. We will wait and see as to whether the committee is accurate or not.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there