Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday ordered the Cambodian Human Rights Committee and the National Military Police to investigate an alleged torture to death of a detained land protestor in Banteay Meanchey province.
Speaking yesterday at an annual dinner with journalists at the Koh Pich Exhibition centre, Mr Hun Sen ordered CHRC president Keo Remy and National Military Police commander General Sao Sokha to probe the death of a land protester allegedly tortured by provincial military police officers earlier this month.
“I ordered Keo Remy and Sao Sokha to create the ad-hoc committee to investigate the torture to death,” he said. “If it is found to be true, they will be punished.”
Gen Sokha yesterday created a committee to investigate the case.
“The committee has the exclusive rights to work with local authorities and question relevant people,” he said.
Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, today said that provincial military police officers had tortured Tuy Sros, land protestor, while being detained.
“The eyewitness said that military police officers tortured Tuy Sros cruelly until he lost consciousness,” Mr Chankea said. “What we want is that offenders must be brought to justice.”
Banteay Meanchey officials said that Sros was arrested over a land dispute in the province’s O’Chrouv district in December.
Sros was held in the provincial prison between December 28 and 31 after a land protest in which five other villagers were also arrested, according to officials.
The provincial authorities and national military police in the statements recently denied that Sros was tortured but he was an alcoholic and died of an unspecified illness on January 1.