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Slain man’s aunt alleges police abuse

Slain man’s aunt alleges police abuse

The aunt of a man who was shot then beaten to death in Pursat province last week will launch legal action against a commune police officer and his colleagues, whom she claims are his killers.

Sok Sareth, 44, said yesterday that her nephew, Prach Sopheak, 22, was killed outside her house in Krakor district’s Sna Ansa commune on Friday at about 5pm.

Sareth said those responsible for killing Sopheak, also known as Pauk, are police officer Mork Phirum – the son of commune chief Mork Ka – and four other officers.

“Mork Phirum is very cruel. He used his AK rifle to shoot my nephew,” she said. “After shooting and injuring my nephew, he ordered his colleagues to beat him to death on the spot.”

Ka, father of the accused, told local media on Monday that Sopheak had threatened to burn down villagers’ homes and incensed villagers had beaten him to death, but police were not able to identify the culprits.

Sareth complained to police on Saturday before gathering with 50 family members and supporters at the commune police station to demand action.

“I am asking the court to arrest and bring Mork Phirum and his colleagues to justice,” she said, claiming that she had since been threatened and taunted by the men. “I am asking the court to strongly punish them by law so that they will not commit such cruel killing in Pursat province again.”

Phuong Sothea, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that according to his organisation’s investigation, the killing had stemmed from an argument between the victim and his attackers during a religious ceremony on Thursday.

“They have shot and injured him and then used axes and sticks to beat him to death,” he said.

Phirum could not be reached yesterday, while Bin Vanna, chief of Krakor district police, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

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