Archive for March 13th, 2007

Sunday/Monday, 11/12.3.2007: The Situation Of Prisoners In Cambodia Has Not Yet Improved

Posted on 13 March 2007. Filed under: Week 499 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 499

“The situation of prisoners in Cambodia has not yet been improved to meet international standards. It was observed that the buildings in which prisoners stay are overcrowded with many prisoners. Moreover, some of the prisoners have not yet been brought to trial, but they are just detained, which is against legal procedures.

“The Kandal Provincial Prison and Prey Sar Prison are called Reformation Centers, and there is also PJ Prison; they have all together a total of 1,386 prisoners.

“A female prisoner, Keo Khemmaly, who is jailed in PJ Prison, said with a brave face that she was jailed because she was involved in drug trafficking. Even though she was jailed without a court trial, she expressed regret for her guilt in the past.

“She also advised Khmer women and children not to follow her suit.

“Ms. Vantha, the director of PJ Prison, stated that there are five female prisoners out of 135 prisoners in PJ prison, and most offenses are related to theft, robbery, and drug trafficking. She said that the situation of the prisoners in PJ Prison is not difficult, because she usually allows female prisoners to go in and out of the premises .

“According to Mr. Chhath Sineang, the director of the reformation center of the Prey Sar Prison located in Domreang, Prey Veng, Dongkao, Phnom Penh, the Prey Sar Prison was built from 1958 to 1960 and has been operated to detain prisoners ever since. In regard to the prisoners in the Prey Sar Prison, there are Khmer prisoners and also foreign prisoners such as Thais, Australians, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc..

“He added that there are 582 prisoners in the reformation center – 271 female prisoners, 203 already convicted, and 66 accused, 15 children who came to live with their mothers, and 3 prisoners are pregnant.

“The female prisoners and male minors were provided with separate sections. From 2004 to 2006, the number of prisoners increased, which is different from the early year 2007 where the number of prisoners declined, if compared to the same period of the previous months. Most male prisoners committed offenses of robbery, whereas the female prisoners committed offenses of pimping and fraud.

“Mr. Chhath Sineang added that officials in the reformation center monitor three kinds of security: 1. High-level security, 2.Medium-level security, 3.Low-level security. If any prisoners can improve themselves, he would request to reduce their conviction. The prisoners’ convictions are reduced during the Water Festival, the Visak Bochea Day, and the Khmer New Year.

“Mr. Chhath Sineang stated in an interview with a group of reporters that the prisoners who had been detained previously, received a food ration of Riel 1,000 per day, but now the food ration increased to Riel 1,500 per day; therefore, they can have appropriate food.

“However, Mr. Chhath Sineang straightforwardly said that the Prey Sar Prison does not have a running water system yet, which causes difficulties in cleaning cells; and there is not enough medicine for treating sick prisoners. Therefore, the sick prisoners are sent to receive treatment in hospitals outside of the Prey Sar Prison.

“Speaking to national journalists, Dr. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], the president of the Cambodian League for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights [LICADHO], said that even though women are jailed for an offense, they still have the same human rights as others. Therefore, LICADHO came to visit the female prisoners to encourage them not to be hopeless for the rest of their lives, and to try to reform themselves in order to serve Khmer society.

“However, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek appreciated the prison officials for their cooperation with LICADHO respecting prisoners’ rights – not treating the prisoners with contempt or discrimination.

“Concerning the living situation of the prisoners, Mr. Son Chhay, a parliamentarian from the Sam Rainsy Party, observed that there is not yet an appropriate system to separate prisoners in current prisons, because prisoners who have not so severe, and others with very severe convictions are mixed together in unhygienic, crowded cells. Mr. Son Chhay added that the food ration is not sufficient, which indicates that the government does not take full responsibility for this problem.

“Mr. Monh Saphan, a parliamentarian from Funcinpec, was of the opinion that according to the prison law, prisoners are to be jailed in separate cells in the detention department. In Cambodia, the imprisonment of prisoners is confusing and crowded beyond the limit, affecting the health of the prisoners. The prisoners’ food rations are not sufficient, the government should increase the food rations so that they can eat appropriately.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1288, 11-12.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Sunday/Monday, 11/12 March 2007

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5988, 12.3.2007

  • The Press Freedom In Cambodia Ensures There Will Be No Pre-Publication Censorship Or Imprisonment For Constructive Criticism [says Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1288, 11-12.3.2007

  • A Video Clip Of A Nude Female Teacher Is Being Sold [taken with her hand phone; she sold it without deleting this video clip]
  • Tuol Sleng Ward Officials Held A Ceremony To Receive New Members To Support The Cambodian People’s Party [there are 7,000 new pro-CPP members from 10 March 2007]
  • Twelve Political Parties Are Entitled To Broadcast Their Own Policies On The National Television And Radio Stations [TVK, AM 918 MHz, and FM 96 MHz from 16 to 30 March, two times a day]
  • The Situation Of Prisoners In Cambodia Has Not Yet Improved

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #461, 12.3.2007

  • Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy Hesitantly Dreams Of Joining The Government With Hun Sen
  • Corruption In The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Makes South Korea Refuse To Receive Laborers From Cambodia [according to unidentified officials thousands of laborers were cheated out of $150 to $1,000]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3107, 12.3.2007

  • Keat Chhon [as a former adviser to Pol Pot] Has To Be Brought To Trial, And Many More Persons Have To Be Brought To Trial Such As Khmer Rouge Leaders Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khiev Samphan, And Mr. Hun Sen Can Not Avoid This Trial To Be Held

Neak Cheat Niyum, Vol.2, #30, 13-14.3.2007

  • 49 Families Demonstrating Against The Supreme Court’s Verdict [the verdict leading to the use of police force to remove their houses]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4233, 11-12.3.2007

  • How Ferocious! A [11-Year-Old] Scavenging Boy Just Took A Plastic Bucket, And He Was Punished By Having His Fingers Cut Off By A Chopping Knife [two men were arrested for it]
  • Hundreds Of Villagers Along Sesan River [Stung Treng and Ratanakiri provinces] Joined In Blocking A Road To Protest Against Land Grabbing [demanding three companies – Sopheaknika, Sopeapeanik, and Greenland – to stop leveling their land]
  • Oknha Te Haing [Lieutenant General at the Border Headquarters] Was Arrested For Clearing Forest For Agricultural Land
  • Vietnam Is Increasing Its Investment Activities In Cambodia [meat processing and seafood packaging, also building local branch of the Vietnamese Cho Ray Hospital]
  • Mr. Nim Chandara, [a Deputy Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the leader of the team, which] Took Rice To Help 40 Families Suffering From Shortages

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2988, 11-12.3.2007

  • While The Sam Rainsy Party Declines, Kem Sokha [the president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights] Sets Up A New Party After US Reduced Aid
  • Hun Sen Threatens The Court To Condemn Samdech Krom Preah To Be Jailed For At Least Two Thirds Of Any Conviction [without pardon]

Go to last week’s editorial

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