Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng warns against torture of detained suspects

Sar Kheng warns against torture of detained suspects

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said at an induction ceremony for newly inaugurated members of the National Committee Against Torture. Sar Kheng via Facebook

Sar Kheng warns against torture of detained suspects

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Monday reminded relevant officials not to torture detained individuals to extract information as it constitutes a human rights violation.

At an induction ceremony for newly inaugurated members of the National Committee Against Torture, Sar Kheng said extracting information from individuals accused of wrongdoing is important to serving justice.

But, he said, it must be procured in a just manner. Torture and degrading treatment, he stressed, are not necessary means to be used against detainees.

“Such actions are illegal and seriously violate human rights. It affects the person’s integrity, causes pain, and could lead to endless vengeance against each other,” he said.

He said the anti-torture committee had inspected detention centres and a small number of prison wardens did not cooperate with committee delegates, especially when torture had occurred at their facilities.

The director of the anti-torture committee, Nut Saarn, said the committee has done well but it faces challenges, such as stubborn wardens at facilities with suspected irregularities.

“After the committee created a workshop to raise awareness and issued guidance, we noticed improvements in the treatment of detainees around the Kingdom,” Saarn said.

The ministry said as of July 10, there are 39,316 detainees at 28 detention centres in the Kingdom, including 2,571 women. The number includes 8,900 criminal suspects, 4,649 accused, 14,817 convicts and 10,950 prisoners.

Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) executive director Chak Sopheap said on Tuesday that Cambodia had ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture by State authorities.

Sopheap said despite the legal protections, torture still occurred in detention centres and more needed to be done to prevent it.

“Between November 1, last year, and July 31, through our monitoring of 148 defendants at randomly selected Court of Appeal trials, CCHR recorded 5.4 per cent of defendants alleging violence or torture was used to obtain a confession during investigations carried out by the judicial police,” she said.

Watch video:


  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • 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

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,