Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shooting probe still pending

Shooting probe still pending

Riot police fire weapons during a clash on the Kbal Thnal overpass in Phnom Penh late on Sunday night.
Riot police fire weapons during a clash on the Kbal Thnal overpass in Phnom Penh late on Sunday night. On Monday, the King donated $1,000 to nine people who were seriously wounded in the violent confrontation. Pha Lina

Shooting probe still pending

Though eight victims shot during a brutal police crackdown on Sunday night were compensated by King Norodom Sihamoni on Monday, an investigation into the incident has still not been launched.

When Oun Sokheang, 27, was shot in the leg, he was sent for surgery at Calmette Hospital despite being unable to pay for the operation, his wife, Sun Phanna, said.

“The King donated a blanket, mosquito net, a scarf, sarong and an envelope with $1,000,” Phanna said, adding that it was delivered by a royal officer.

Neang Ratana, 31, is also recovering at Calmette after being shot in the throat on his way home from work at a construction site, his wife, Chin Chanthy, told the Post yesterday.

“My husband has regained consciousness and can take some boiled rice after doctors operated on his wound,” she said, adding that he was recovering in a building beside the hospital for patients unable to pay for medical care following his operation.

Both women expressed gratitude for the King’s donation and another $500 raised by local NGOs.

“Before I went to the hospital, I wanted to file a complaint with the [Phnom Penh] court, demanding compensation for the hospital fees, but now I won’t, because the King supported us along with other NGOs and generous people,” Chanthy said.

Sixteen-year-old Buth Sothy, who sustained a bullet wound in the shoulder, was the only victim at Calmette not to receive $1,000, but was told by the hospital’s administrative staff that his medical bills had been covered.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap yesterday cited the ongoing conversations between the two political parties as the primary reason why an investigation into excessive force by police has yet to be launched.

“An investigation into the military police response will happen in a few days,” Yeap said.

National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito confirmed an investigation was not yet under way, but declined to comment on whether the investigation would be independent or conducted by the ruling party.

Opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, meanwhile, echoed calls for an independent and impartial investigation into the excessive use of force by security forces against civilians made by a slew of human rights watchdogs this week.

“Sunday’s incident shows yet again the incompetence of police. We’re talking about 1,000 military men chasing down civilians and children; we’re lucky it wasn’t far worse. The government may conduct an investigation, but it will never be independent [of CPP influence],” Sochua said, adding that the CNRP would fully support any independent and transparent investigation.

In a statement released yesterday, Human Rights Watch, which said at least 24 were injured, called on the government to publicly order security forces to abide by international standards on the use of force and firearms.

Firing live ammunition at unarmed people at night constitutes excessive force, HRW Asia director Brad Adams said in the statement.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest rangers seek 1,210 rifles after serious attacks

    The Ministry of Environment sought permission from the Ministry of National Defence to arm municipal and provincial rangers with 1,210 rifles in response to one of its rangers being killed and two others critically assaulted while out on patrol in Mondulkiri and Kampong Thom provinces. In

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

    Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand