The sister of a teenager charged with transporting illegal timber has filed a complaint with rights group Adhoc claiming that her brother – Horl Sorl, 17 – was mistreated by forestry officials in Preah Vihear’s Boeung Per Wildlife Sanctuary while in their custody.
Phun Sophea said her brother was working for their cousin and was driving a homemade tractor loaded with timber in a convoy when they were stopped by forestry officials last Tuesday.
While the other tractor drivers managed to escape, Sorl was arrested, chained to a pillar in the forestry office and “not allowed to eat or drink”.
Officials sent Sorl to the provincial court to face charges the next day.
Lor Chann, Adhoc provincial coordinator, said he would submit a complaint to the court today.
Chann said: “He is only 17, and was handcuffed and chained for a night without food. This is a gross violation of human rights.”
Kuong Sambath, the Wildlife Sanctuary director, denied the allegations and said Sorl grew violent during the arrest.
He said: “We arrested one driver who attempted to hack us with an axe.”
He admitted Sorl was handcuffed and chained, but said he was released later and given food when he had calmed down.
To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]