Police in Takeo province are investigating allegations of torture made against a local police officer accused of tying up and beating his niece amid a dispute over the use of the family’s land.
Eng Vibol, 37, claims she was badly beaten by her uncle, police captain Khat Chanthy, and three of his brothers, after she was told to move out of the family home owned by her grandmother, 73-year-old Su Kea, and into a plot of land owned by the family behind the house.
Vibol reportedly refused to move, demanding she be given half of the family home and that some of the house be demolished to open a driveway to the rear of the property, according to Provincial Governor Lay Vannak, who is mediating the dispute.
Kea dismissed her granddaughter’s request, deeming it unreasonable, and in turn asked her four sons, including Captain Chanthy, to demolish the entire property.
Vibol, armed with an axe and dagger, tried to stop the four brothers from destroying the wooden house. At that point, she claims, her brothers had tied and tortured her, officials said.
“It was a domestic conflict. Our police officers do not use violence,” Vannak said. “We have compromised and explained all of the legal aspects and . . . Vibol has agreed to move. But she has also produced photos related to torture, which judicial officials are investigating.”
But Vibol’s mother, Nai Ai Kry, said that Chanthy had in fact tied up her daughter and beaten her until she was unconscious while his three brothers began destroying the house.
“They beat and kicked my daughter and tied her up with ropes against the wall,” Ai Kry said. “Now the provincial authorities have come to resolve the dispute. I thought if we disagreed, [the dispute] would drag on for a long time, so I agreed to compromise if [Chanthy] agreed to not commit violence anymore.”
The authorities have yet to settle the case, but Vibol has demanded $5,000 in compensation.
Yong Nhiv, director of the provincial minor crimes bureau, said the authorities were still establishing the facts in the case, after determining that Vibol’s testimony and the photographic evidence were contradictory.