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Three men say police tortured them

Three men re-enact how they say they were detained by authorities, in Ratanakkiri’s Lumphat district
Three men re-enact how they say they were detained by authorities, in Ratanakkiri’s Lumphat district yesterday. ADHOC

Three men say police tortured them

Three men in Ratanakkiri’s Lumphat district filed a complaint with the provincial court yesterday, claiming a commune police officer tortured and illegally detained them on Tuesday night.

Local authorities dispute that characterisation, however, and said that the men had started a fight at a wedding and were arrested, but not tortured.

In their complaint, Duong Deth, 28, Him Khoeum, 28, and Nub Ry, 23, accuse a Seda commune police officer known as “Mr Ny” of ordering a group of village security guards to strip the men and tie them to a table before pouring water and beer on their heads periodically throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“They handcuffed us, hit us, kicked us and dragged us to the commune office where we were detained and tied to a table with chains and hammock strings. And they punched us on the mouth and head many times,” Ry said.

“They stripped us to only our underwear. It’s very inhumane. They also [threatened] to urinate on our heads.”

The men claim they were mistreated until dawn. They have demanded $1,250 in compensation.

Sovan Kay, Seda commune police chief, rejected the allegation, saying that the men were not tortured. Instead, Kay said, Ry had drunkenly started a fight at the wedding and was subsequently arrested in accordance with the law.

His inebriated friends followed him to the police station and began causing disorder outside, Kay said, and so they were arrested too.

“We did not torture or hit them like they claim. If we did, they would be injured, but their bodies are clean and in fine condition,” he said, alleging that the three men had previously been arrested for illegal logging and had a bone to pick with the police department.

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