Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison guards on trial for torture

Prison guards on trial for torture

Prison guards on trial for torture

Three jail guards and two former colleagues will appear in a Kampong Cham court on

August 30 charged with torture. The case marks the first time in nearly ten years

that prison staff have been prosecuted for such offenses.

The men are alleged to have punched, kicked and beaten five prisoners who tried to

escape from Kampong Cham's prison on December 13, 1999. Several of the prisoners

were knocked unconscious in the attack, which reportedly took place in front other

prisoners to deter others.

Human rights group Licadho, which released a study of torture in prisons two years

ago, called the case "a critical test of the judiciary's willingness to uphold

Cambodia's strict laws against torture". The NGO said the last prosecution of

a prison official for torture was in 1993. Jason Barber of Licadho's Project Against

Torture, said such trials were rare.

"Unfortunately there is not much willingness ... to investigate crimes against

those in custody," he said.

Prosecutor Ouk Touch played down the case saying it was not a "serious offense"

as it was difficult to recapture escaped prisoners simply by talking to them.

Sam Ni, deputy director at the Department of Prisons, said he was pleased such trials

took place, but disputed the allegations in this case. He said the prisoners were

injured when they fought the guards after their recapture.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police