January 11, 2014

Brigade 911 Had Brutal History Before Garment Factory Strike

កងពលតូច ៩១១ មានប្រវត្តិដ៏កាចសាហាវមុនពេល រោងចក្រកាត់ដេរធ្វើកូដកម្ម

General Srey Doek
By Brad Adams, The Cambodia Daily
January 9, 2014

I met General Chap Pheakdei for the first and only time in July 1997. It was about a week after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s coup against Funcinpec. I was with the U.N. human rights office then, and we were working around the clock investigating widespread cases of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture. Bodies were turning up all over the place. One man’s body I helped dig up was dressed only in underpants. He was handcuffed behind his back and had a bullet in his head.

July 1997 was a month of corpses, enough to make many of us numb.

The coup was opposed by senior CPP figures, so it was an a la carte affair in which Mr. Hun Sen used willing elements of the army, the police, and the gendarmerie.

One of the willing soldiers was Chap Pheakdei, the commander of the Indonesian-trained parachute Brigade 911, which was involved in the violent suppression of protests by garment workers last week.

General Hing Bun Hieng
After the coup, the U.N. received reports that dozens of people were being unlawfully detained and tortured at the 911 base west of Phnom Penh International Airport. Many were forced to drink from the same swamp into which they urinated and defecated.

According to a U.N. report on human rights abuses at Brigade 911 after the coup: “The torture involved beatings with a belt, the wooden leg of a table, a wooden plank, kicking with combat boots and the knees, punches in the face and the body. It also involved death threats, by pointing the end of a gun against the head and threatening to shoot. An iron vice was also used on several detainees, to squeeze their fingers or hands until they responded satisfactorily. They were tortured to obtain intelligence, extract confessions and make them sign a statement of guilt prepared on a standard model. They were forced to…admit that there was a plan underway by Funcinpec to conspire against the CPP; to confess that they were Khmer Rouge soldiers brought from Pailin or Anlong Veng; and to confess that they had been brought to Phnom Penh to fight Hun Sen.”

Anti-terrorism unit 
The detainees realized quickly that their interrogators were not interested in finding the truth but wanted solely to obtain certain responses. As one of them explained, in words echoed by others: “They asked me whether I was a Khmer Rouge from Pailin or Anlong Veng. If I responded that I was not a Khmer Rouge, then they beat me up. So I had to admit to avoid being beaten. They also asked me what was the purpose of the war we were pursuing and who did we want to kill. The expected response was ‘Hun Sen.’ The more you resisted the more you would be tortured.”

A detainee undergoing interrogation saw another detainee being interrogated in the room next to his. The interrogators forced the man’s head in a bucket of water until he fainted and defecated on himself. Ten days after their release, several of the tortured detainees still had clear marks of blows on the back, shoulders, and arms.

After interviewing some of the released detainees, four Cambodian colleagues and I from the U.N. human rights office went to the 911 base to investigate further. It was then that I met Chap Pheakdei. When I asked him about these allegations, Chap Pheakedei first strongly denied that any detainees had been held at 911. But within minutes he changed his story, admitting that some had been held but disclaiming any knowledge of what had happened to them or when they had been released.

Then a farcical scene played out. One of the U.N. team saw a wooden storage hut that matched the description we had received from detainees. We walked to the hut and knocked on the door. A person locked inside answered. We all heard his voice, yet Chap Pheakedei insisted there was no one there. We told him we would not leave until the man was produced. Chap Pheakedei then said that, yes, a man was in there, but the person with the key had left and we should come back the next day. Fearing for the man’s life, we said no.

Commander General Meas Sophea
A three-hour standoff ensued. It was now dark. Chap Pheakdei’s forces were overheard in Khmer referring to the U.N. staff on their hand-held radios, asking, “Should we fry these fish?” The response was, “These fish are too big to fry.” My Cambodian staff only told me about this conversation later, on our way home, saying they didn’t want to worry me.

I was amazed by their courage, holding their ground knowing that any minute the order could come to have them killed. Only when the head of the gendarmerie arrived was the detainee released and re-turned safely home.

Brigade 911 has been accused of a litany of abuses in the years since. But instead of removing Chap Pheakedei from the military or prosecuting him and his subordinates, Chap Pheakedei has been promoted. He is even a member of the CPP Central Committee. Such are the rewards for being one of Mr. Hun Sen’s most loyal commanders. It thus came as no surprise when I learned that Brigade 911 had attacked protesters. Chap Pheakedei and 911 have long shown themselves to be willing to use violence for political purposes.

The public has the right to know who ordered Brigade 911 to be deployed last week.

General Tea Banh
Did Chap Pheakdei make this decision on his own? This seems unlikely, but it is a question that should be addressed as part of a wider independent investigation into last week’s events. That investigation should also examine why the gendarmerie fired into crowds, who gave those orders, and why 23 people were detained for days without information about their whereabouts or access to counsel or medical care.

There is a wider problem. Military units in Cambodia and elsewhere are not trained to deal with protests and should not be deployed for crowd control. Donors and countries such as the U.S., which have relations with the Cambodian military, should demand the end of the use of the army for political reasons.

Instead of banning demonstrations, donors should insist that the government respect the rights of workers or the political opposition to freedom of assembly, association and expression, including those who were encamped at Freedom Park.

Indonesia trained special forces
If crowd control measures are necessary, this should be the job of the police, not the army or paramilitary force like the gendarmerie.

Will the government authorize an independent investigation that follows responsibility wherever the trail leads, even if it points to the military leadership or the government? Sadly, this is unlikely. While impunity flourishes among the Cambodian leadership, a willingness to address it is nowhere in sight.

Brad Adams is the Asia director at Human Rights Watch
Courtes HRW


General Hun Manet
Current
Commander General Meas Sophea
Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the RCAF and Chief of Army

Notable
Commanders General Meas Sophea
General Tea Banh
General Srey Doek
General Hun Manet
General Hing Bun Hieng

Special Forces Airborne
Royal Cambodian National Counter-Terrorism Special Forces training exercise.The Operation Base of the special forces airborne 911 unit (SF-911) is near the takethmey village, Kambol Commune, Angsnoul District, Kandal Province. This Unit is under direct command of the High Command Headquarter of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. The SF-911 have seven branches with 14 battalions under their control.



Following units is distributed in the Battalions:

Commando 1 to Commando 4 (Airborne Commando)
Commando 5 to Commando 9 (Attack Commando)
Commando 10 to Commando 12 (Support Commando)
Special Group 13 Close Protection
Counter terrorist 14 Group
Total staff 6,500

Counter terrorist 14 Group is Cambodians first specialized anti terrorist unit. And is SF-911 SWAT component. Counter terrorist 14 Group support law enforcement in anti terrorist operations

The SF regularly conduct trainings and joint exercises such as:
Special forces 6 course (commando Red Barret)
Airborne 11 Course (para)
Freefall 3 Course
Scuba 3 Course (Chhak Sea)
Terrorist Counter 3 Course (T.O)
Training has also been conducted in Indonesia under a special program at Batujajar. Batujajar military training center is located 22 kilometers from Bandung (West Java), where SF soldiers have been trained in parachute jumping and Landing zone tactics.
CHHAB PEAKDEY is the Commanding officer for the SF-911.


BradAdams
Brad Adams

Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division since 2002, oversees the organization's work on human rights issues in twenty countries, from Afghanistan to the Pacific. At Human Rights Watch, he has worked on a wide range of issues including armed conflict, counter-terrorism, media freedom, refugees, the rule of law, and impunity. He has written for publications including Foreign Affairs, the International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal.

Prior to Human Rights Watch, Mr. Adams worked in Cambodia for five years as the senior lawyer for the Cambodia field office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and as the legal advisor to the Cambodian parliament's human rights committee, conducting human rights investigations, supervising a judicial reform program, and drafting and revising legislation. A former legal aid lawyer in California, Mr. Adams graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is a member of the California bar. Courtesy HRW

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

ពូជអាខ្មែរក្រហមទោះបីជាខំប្តូរឈ្មោះ ប្តូរទង់ជាតិ ក៍នៅតែជាអាខ្មែរក្រហមដដែល!!!

Anonymous said...

Why Cambodian like the government to kill like dog?

They should look back during the Pol Pot regime.

Look around the world how to do against the dictator.

Anonymous said...

These men can't be change habitates they was dogs go suround turn be same dogs and eat the same shit!! never mind they showed on the thirth of January to people protesters with crualty what is teach us to do the same they do then.Wait and see we going back to cevil wars again,you had troup people has population get in dack in the future soon ask you still do like this you step on we strikgle from your feets KRANHUN EASAN

Anonymous said...

Find their family an kill them..

Anonymous said...

I want to ask all Khmer soldiers at the Border. Now you sacrifice you life for Hun Sen ? or for all Khmer people? If you sacrifice your life for Khmer people for your country,watch the video now .Hun Sen order the soldiers to kill his own khmer people like animal like that what do you think ?. They have no weapon,they just manifest and ask the salary 160$ per month for survive with honest. Hun Sen and his group stole the money from Khmer people by corruption,and they became billionaire. Now the people on the world they blame Hun Sen. Where is the honest of Khmer army and honest of Khmer country?

Anonymous said...

No gov' in this wold would Use such armed forces to be against innocent and unarmed civilians lie Hun Sen does. Right now, the Hai and the Viets say to each other like ' good you don' t have to send your troops to fight against them anymore just let them kill each for us...haha in the end will share such wealth without going to war. Ah Hun can you see that of not? If not, let me enlighten you. You are being used to kill your own people and once you are no longer useful, they will kill you and your future generation too. Please wake up now before it is too late. Soon, Chinese will be moving in and you? You are finished, why? Beco Chinese never liked the VC Viets for thousand of years now and it time to finishing them of soon. Also, the Chinese already know about how wicked the Viets are e,g king of liars and deceivers. Please turn your gun against th Viets now before it is too late.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Le Duc Tho's son name Hun Manet tried to copy his father's evil crime against Cambodian people.

Le Duc Tho's son name HUN MANET dreamt to be Cambodian Prime Minister and killing million of Khmer people, but now Million of Khmer people will destroy Yuon's power including Le Duc Tho's son too.

Anonymous said...

Hun Manet dream will be ended in Februry 2014, His family will be out of Cambodia and all they have
will be confiscaded.
Down Hun's family!!!!!!!
Vive Khmer Peuple!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The devils come not but to steal, to kill and to destroy. And God will destroy them by letting them to kill each other.
CNRP leaders need to repent and go to God and ask and entrust the war between good and evil to God. the war will be God's war, which destroys the evil one.
Read the key story from the Holy Bible. Very interesting.

2 Chronicles 20
Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.
27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28

Anonymous said...

We must stop Hun Sen's regime. This regime is inherited from Khmer Rouge regime they use the same torture technic, surpressing any one rise against them and killing strategies as it was during Khmer Rouge.... Why UN allows this regime to contue doing their business as if it was OK to do it hoping the UN and the world will forget about it later... As MR Brad Adams had witness of these people attrocity against it own people... Why can the world help Cambodian people and stop these murderors? The world justice (UN) is only interested in protecting their own interest and Cambodian people is not much of values to them....
Sadly this is the reality... As MR. Admas witnesses in the Coup-97, the Killing of innocent people, the strikers and MR. Adams received only a small portions of the over all incident that were reported to him... What can we do to help these innocent people? Powerless, speachless this is the second phase of Khmer Rouge of killing machine....

MR. Adams! Can you please investigate into the K5 programm that was created to kill more Cambodian in the mid 80's please? Why VN created K5 programm just after liberating the Khmer Rouge regime? Estimated 300 to 500 thousands have died within this programm...

Greatly appreciated for your great reports MR. Brad Adams.

Anonymous said...

MR. Adams! Can you please investigate into the K5 programm that was created to kill more Cambodian in the mid 80's please? Why VN created K5 programm just after liberating the Khmer Rouge regime? Estimated 300 to 500 thousands have died within this programm...

Greatly appreciated for your great reports MR. Brad Adams.

Anonymous said...

សុទ្ធពួកឈបខ្មែរក្រហម!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Brad Adams, We, Cambodians , so appreciate your fact finding in the real problem inside of Cambodia. Now and on, Cambodian government is walking in the wrong path of Human Rights set by the United Nations. Under Hun Sen, Cambodian government is turning to autocraticism instead democracy which we all are waiting impatiently in the past twenty years. The word killing is around the corner of Cambodian ears and lost of life is continuing to increase substantially by the government oppression. In the past we used to hear the killing of the armed personnels who fought within them in 1997 as referred to the coup or not. But later on, there were grenade attacked on protesters who marched peacefully to protest in front of house of congress in 1997. There were killing of activists and journalists along the line and Cambodian government found pretext to deny or to investigate but not found and no hope for the victim families. As of this years 2014 alone, there are numerous Cambodian innocents are dead by the gun shots as you stated in your report. We think that you know completely what is happening in Cambodia. This government is created from irregular election of July 28, 2013. Mr. Hun Sen and the National Election Committes under his control refuse to reveal the true ballot counts to access which party is the winner. Of cause they allow to open some suspicious ballot boxes in some provinces but illegal correction of initial records are different from stencil copies; the sealed envelopes have been unsealed and disorganized. But the NEC put the blames on their lower employee' s false. NEC then declares that as a little mistake should be disregarded. How in this world that NEC considers this election fraud as a small mistake. The rule is posted on any voting system that " one vote, one count" . If the NEC tempers the hole smirk, he is alledging fraudulent act and must be punished by law of the election process. To save face, the opposition party even wants to help this interim government by asking to rerun the new fresh election. Mr. Hun Sen still insists that no new election. We can assume that Mr. Hun Sen is afraid of loose the election that he one is loose and regains by intimidation. Such intimidation has been done after the non official result has been declared by the NEC. To recap this scenario, recount the ballots,Hun Sen denies it; rerun the election, Hun Sen doesn't want it. What else should we do. Cambodians as a whole are stuck by Hun Sen autocracy and menace. We request your help , and appeal to the world bodies to assist us in providing Cambodians a true democracy and human rights that we all are in need of. Please Mr. Adams we all rely on you to find way to help us in this matter. Best Regards

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