Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police chief’s sexual abuse case not ‘crime’

Police chief’s sexual abuse case not ‘crime’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Kampong Thom police chief Ouk Kosal before he was demoted from major general to colonel over sexual harassment. Supplied

Police chief’s sexual abuse case not ‘crime’

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the complaint filed by women police officers against Kampong Thom police chief Ouk Kosal over sexual harassment did not carry a criminal offence as the complaint concerned administrative work.

Sopheak told The Post on Wednesday that the ministry had formally decided to demote Kosal from major general to colonel.

He stressed that Kosal’s case didn’t carry a criminal offence because the victims didn’t file a criminal complaint against him.

“The victims only filed a complaint about administrative work. The ministry issued a letter demoting him. I think the punishment is appropriate as the offence is serious,” Sopheak said.

He said demotions always drew criticisms and that it was normal. The Kampong Thom police chief’s position will be assumed by Men Ly, the former police chief of Oddar Meanchey province.

Cambodian Centre for Human Rights executive director Chak Sopheap said in a Facebook post that providing the result of an investigation by the Ministry of Interior had shown transparency and that it had paid greater attention to sexual harassment of subordinate staff.

However, she said the fact that the ministry had just demoted Kosal and did not take further legal action meant it failed to obtain a judicial solution. This, she said, sent a message to the offender that he will get away from the law for his abusive activities.

“Dignity and honour of the victims can be protected by court procedure. Otherwise, it means that all cases of sexual harassment will not be sent to court or get justice for the victims because there are no mechanisms to protect them,” she said.

Gender and Development in Cambodia executive director Ros Sopheap said getting only a demotion was not enough because it showed the decline in standards of social morality.

“Paying attention to upholding social morality is not enough. The person who commits such offences will not learn a lesson. I think before the women decided to file their complaint, it [sexual harassment] happened several times.

“So, the ministry should continue to follow procedures in order that the victims get justice, and gain the confidence of the top leadership,” she said.

Sopheap also urged the Ministry of Women’s Affairs which has a crucial role in legal protection to check on the case because the victims are women.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’