Family of Dead Village Official Want Quick Investigation, 12 Military Police Officers Questioned

2 min read
Kampong Thom provincial military police chief Hang Thol in August 2021, in a photo from the Kampong Thom provincial military police Facebook page.

The family of a Kampong Thom deputy village chief, who allegedly died in custody last week, has asked for a speedy investigation into the death, with around a dozen officers being questioned last week.

Kampong Thom Military Police said last week that 11 officers were being questioned after a crackdown on an alleged illegal gambling location resulted in the death of Suong Don, deputy chief of Rung village in Baray district’s Krava commune. Don died on the way to the provincial military police headquarters on Sunday evening, and his family claims he was strangled by military police officers. 

Din Nearatey, Don’s daughter, said that her family had not got any information about the case as of Sunday and wanted the perpetrators of her father’s death to be arrested soon. She said the family planned to file a complaint to the Kampong Thom Provincial Court.

“I ask the relevant institutions to investigate and find evidence to arrest the offenders and send them to jail as soon as possible. The perpetrators have to be punished by law and also [for us to] be compensated,” she said. 

She also contested the official cause of death being a heart attack. Nearatey said on Sunday that her father was at a cafe on August 7 and that there was no gambling activity there. Military police arrested her father from the cafe and pressed on her father’s neck, resulting in his death, she alleged.

Last week, she said she knew this from one of the three others who were arrested along with Don. 

After an order from Military Police chief Sao Sokha, an investigation was launched and 11 officers were being questioned. On Monday, Military Police spokesperson Eng Hy said 12 people were being questioned in relation to the case. 

Hy said on Sunday they were still questioning the 12 detained officers and refused to make any comments about the cause of death. 

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