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Rights Groups Calls for Halt to Torture

The rights group Adhoc and the Asian Human Rights Commission plan to broadcast a radio program appealing to the Cambodian government to prevent torture, for UN Anti-Torture Day, Thursday.

Adhoc "will set up a radio program and will cooperate with the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong in order to broadcast, disseminate and call for the Cambodian government to prevent, halt and to [work] against torture in Cambodia, which has happened in some prisons and police custody," Adhoc investigator Chan Saveth told VOA Khmer.

Torture cases have decreased in Cambodia but they still occur, he said.

One suspect, Yan Sokea, was arrested in Preah Vihear province but died in Prey Sar prison when he wasn't given adequate medical attention, Chan Saveth said.

He was severely beaten by prison guards, Chan Saveth said.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak denied torture occurs in prisons or while suspects are in custody.

"We have never seen such a thing happen," he said, adding that the government has issued information to all police institutions to stop the use of torture.

Cambodia ratified the Optional Protocol Against Torture in 2007.

The government must institute stronger measures to monitor prisons and other detention facilities, said Lao Monghay, a senior researcher at the Rights Commission.