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Activist ‘beaten by cop’

Saing Chak, director of NGO Crime Prevention Cambodia in Oddar Meanchey province, poses for a photo after he was allegedly beaten by authorities for reporting forestry crimes.
Saing Chak, director of NGO Crime Prevention Cambodia in Oddar Meanchey province, poses for a photo after he was allegedly beaten by authorities for reporting forestry crimes. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Activist ‘beaten by cop’

An NGO worker in Oddar Meanchey province has sought help from the rights group Adhoc after he was allegedly attacked by a military police official and six timber dealers for filing a forestry crime report against them.

Saing Chak, director of Crime Prevention Cambodia, said that he filed a complaint to the provincial court on September 17 accusing the seven of attempted murder.

“They got irritated since I reported to the police that they are running timber trading,” Chak said. “They came and beat me at my house on September 15. If I had not managed to escape, they would have killed me already.”

Chak said that he had observed an alleged timber trader known as Nak transporting timber in Trapaing Prasat district and called police to notify them.

The next night, Nak called him and said that he wanted to meet. When Nak arrived at Chak’s house, with Anlong Veng district military policeman Pork Ka and others, the group proceeded to beat him.

“He told me that he had come to beat me to death, so I asked for . . . Adhoc to intervene with the court to summon those people and seek justice for me in the eyes of law,” he said.

Ka could not be reached yesterday to respond to the allegations against him.

Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said Chak’s injuries were consistent with his account, and that Adhoc would provide him an attorney.

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