Battambang Family Wants Progress in Suspected Torture Case

2 min read
Pech Theareth (National Police)
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

The family of a Battambang man allegedly tortured to death by police officers wants U.N. rights officers in Cambodia to pay attention to the case and get the family justice. 

The case involves Pech Theareth, 31, who was found dead in April 2021. He was arrested hours prior for allegedly electrocuting his wife earlier in the day and was being transferred from Sangke district police station to the provincial police headquarters.

The Interior Ministry’s National Committee Against Torture investigated the case, weighing up the police’s changing claims that Theareth was beaten by villagers, had a traffic accident, or suffered a drug overdose.

The torture committee said it was given an “unclear explanation” by the district police and found investigative holes in the determination of Theareth’s death. The report stops short of finding anyone culpable, instead passing the investigation to the National Police.

Pech Lyna, Theareth’s sister, said there had been no progress in her brother’s case and no officers were punished. She now wanted the U.N.’s human rights office in Cambodia to take up the case.

She questioned how her brother was immediately arrested when he was a suspect but the same standards did not apply to police officers who were linked to the death.

“When the police are involved and suspected, they should also have a quick arrest to provide equal justice. There was no arrest at all, it was delayed till now. There is an investigation but there have been no results,” she said.

She wanted all stakeholders to take note of the case and to find her family justice.

Top Samphy, who is the chief of legislation at the National Committee Against Torture, said the case was already out of the hands of the committee and the police were handling the matter.

“With this work, the criminal police department made a report. You can contact them,” he said.

Mom Chek, chief of staff at the Interior Ministry’s penal crime department, said he was in a meeting and could not clarify details of the case.

VOD. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission. VOD is not responsible for any infringement in all forms. The perpetrator may be subject to legal action under Cambodian laws and related laws.