THE mother of a 21-year-old man has filed a complaint with the rights group Adhoc accusing police in Kampong Cham province of beating her son at a Pchum Ben dance ceremony because he was kissing too many girls.
Mey Ravy, 21, a resident of Kang Meas district’s Angkor commune, said yesterday that he was handcuffed by a group of up to seven police officers at the dance, which was held last Friday.
“I asked them why, but no one responded, and I was handcuffed and thrown against a bed,” he said. “When I fell on the ground, one of them used his feet to press on my neck, and they rubbed a lit cigarette into my back.”
He said he was then sent to the police station, where his mother came and offered police officials 100,000 riels (US$23) for his immediate release, saying that her son suffers from a bladder condition and that police had exacerbated the symptoms.
“Those police officers later told me that according to a complaint from the event organisers, I was accused of kissing and looking at many girls during the dance, as well as beating my friends,” he said. “But I did not do that. If I did, I would’ve been killed by those people and the police wouldn’t have had to beat me.”
Mey Ravy’s mother, Din Soeun, said she filed her complaint to Adhoc because the police had tortured her son to within an inch of his life. “They came to me and asked for a compromise, but I did not agree to it,” she said. “I will not withdraw my complaint. They use their authority to torture innocents.”
Thuont Sophea, a provincial investigator for the rights group Adhoc, yesterday said he had concluded that the police officers had been drunk.
“They torture people to show others that they are a force in the region, and that they can do anything they wish,” he said. “Their activities fully violated the rule of law.”
Khiev Bunthet, chief of the Angkor commune administrative office, which organised the dance and filed the complaint against Mey Ravy, said the victim was being overly disruptive at the dance and had misbehaved by kissing many female attendees.
“We told him not to do it, but he didn’t listen,” he said. “Furthermore, he fought back against us, so we had to arrest him. We did not use violence against him.”
Local police officials could not be reached yesterday.