LICADHO: Prisons in Cambodia Could Become Detention Places with the Highest Prisoner Rates in the World – Tuesday, 20.7.2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674
“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO] has found that prisons in Cambodia could become detention centers with the highest prisoner rates before or by 2018. Such a prediction is based on the results from the observations of 18 among the 25 prisons countrywide.
“The findings from the observations of LICADHO, released on Monday, 19 July 2010, show that there are 12,646 prisoners in 18 prisons in 13 provinces, as observed by LICADHO. In December 2009, one third of the prisoners in detention did not yet have a hearing. Some prisons do not have proper living condition for prisoners.
“Prisons in Cambodia have scarce resources, and the overcrowding of prisons leads to ever more serious conditions in the prisons.
“According to the report of LICADHO, the increase in the number of prisoners from day to day might lead to a situation where Cambodia has a prison system with the highest prisoner rates in the world before or by 2018, because in some prisons in Cambodia there are three times more prisoners compared to the designed capacity. For example, in the Takmao prison, the official capacity is only 314 prisoners, but actually, there are up to 1,042 prisoners. The M2 rehabilitation center in the Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh, houses up to 777 women and children while the official capacity is merely 300. The Kompong Thom prison has 208 prisoners, while the official capacity is 50 prisoners only.
“The head of the investigation section of LICADHO, Mr. Oum Sam Ath, said that the major cause for the overcrowded prisons in Cambodia nowadays is that some offences should not lead to imprisonment, while now many suspects are detained temporarily before they get sentenced, affecting the judicial systems and the prisoners’ health. Also, there is overcrowding because many prisoners are jailed beyond the term of their conviction.
“Mr. Oum Sam Ath added that LICADHO recommended to the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior to discuss this situation with the Ministry of Justice and with the court system, to solve the problem of overcrowded prisons by checking the terms of imprisonment, and by releasing prisoners facing minor accusations, like misdemeanors, on bail.
“Nevertheless, the head of the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Heng Hak, said that the current number of prisoners is not the highest rate in the world.
“He went on to say, ‘At present, we are dealing with overcrowding by constructing new prisons or expanding the housing capacity of the existing prisons, such as M2 and M3, and by repairing old buildings as well as constructing new ones, like in Pursat, where we built a new prison – M4 – which can house 2,500 prisoners.’
“Mr. Heng Hak added that nowadays, the conditions for prisoners are better, as they now get a food support of Riel 2,800 [US$0.65] per day.
“Before, their food support was only Riel 1,500 [US$0.35]. The health of prisoners is better than before, as they are cared for by the government by cooperating with non-government organizations working on health issues, to check and to treat prisoners.
“It should be noted that at present, there are 25 prisons nationwide with 13,325 prisoners; LICADHO found that 90% of the prisoners are overcrowded, as these 25 prisons can house merely 8,000 prisoners.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5254, 20.7.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2305, 20.7.2010
- Samdech Hun Sen Announced to Continue a Long-Term Career in Politics
- The Opposition Party Asked the United States of America to Guarantee [opposition party leader] Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Return [but so far, there is no response]
- In This Year’s [lower secondary school] Grade 9 Examinations, 91.81% of the [159,724] Students Passed Which Is Comparable to Last Year
Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7012, 20.7.2010
- Two Female Workers Jumped from the Second Floor of a House to Escape [from the VC Manpower Company, sending workers to Malaysia] – One Was Seriously Injury [she broke her spine], the Other One Ran Away [Phnom Penh]
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3936, 20.7.2010
- The United States of America [during a visit by US Under-Secretary of State Mr. William Burns] Asked Cambodian Politicians to Think about the Freedom of Expression in Politics before They Decide to Use Court Systems to Solve Problems
- The US Senate Created a New Law Requiring Companies Registered at the US Stock Exchange to Declare Their Payments to the Cambodian Government before Starting Oil and Gas Exploitation Later in 2012
Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #8, 20.7.2010
- Cambodia Continues to Develop the Preah Vihear Area without Caring about Thai Warnings [Thailand claimed that the demarcation of the area between both countries have not been finished, but Cambodia claimed developments are made only on Cambodian territory]
Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #218, 20.7.2010
- Those Who Attempt to Overthrow Hun Sen Using No-Democratic Means Will Receive a Response by Force [the Prime Minister warned the opposition parties for recently discussing his health condition]
- Cambodia Angkor Air Will Buy Two Planes [Airbus 321, which cost about US$99.5 million each] to Expand Its Flights [so there will be five planes in total]
- The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Closed Investigations of Case 002 [involving former Khmer Rouge leaders Khiev Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith, and Nuon Chea]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5254, 20.7.2010
- LICADHO: Prisons in Cambodia Could Become Detention Places with the Highest Prisoner Rates in the World
- Samdech Dekchor Wants Universities to Be Established in All Provinces [to reduce the expenses of students who seek to further their education in cities]
- The National Budget for 2011 Amounts to Riel 12,000,000,000,000 [approx. US$2,800 million, compared with 2010 when it was Riel 8,000,000,000,000 or approx. US$1,900 Million – according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
- Garment Workers of Two Factories with About 2,000 Workers Strike to Demand Improved Work Conditions in 16 Points [such as an extra payment of US$10 for female workers who have delivered a baby buy milk powder, and the permission for a 90 days absentee regulation during pregnancy – Phnom Penh]
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