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]
Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 605
“Phnom Penh: The condition of children and of women in prisons is being considered by the government and by human rights organizations in relation to their health, even though they are in prison.
“Children under the age of six are brought with their prisoner parents to live with them in prison. Therefore, do these children receive enough nutritious food?
“According to a report by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – in January 2009, there are 40 children living with their parents in prisons. Children living in prison face malnutrition, lack other necessities, and lack education which is crucial for their growing up.
“A prison research official of LICADHO, Mr. Khieu Kolay, said that children are not required to live with their parents in prison, but parents themselves want their children to live with them because no one else can take care of them besides them. Thus, nobody can hinder them.
“Regarding monetary allowances for prisoners, the Prison Department of the Ministry of Interior is asking the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase it from Riel 1,500 [approx US$0.37] to Riel 2,800 [approx. US$0.69] per day, so that they can eat enough food and also so that it is in line with the high inflation at the markets.
“According to Prison Regulation Number 34, children under the age of six are allowed to live with their parents in prison, since this provides benefits to children. Because the period of the first five-years of children is important for the growing of their bodies, their social living, and their mental development, the Regulation Number 34 requires prison authorities to provide children with their basic needs.
“However, in reality, these necessities are neglected. Women who are mothers, and pregnant women are not offered additional food and material for taking care of their children.
“It should be remembered that children living with their parents in prison are not prisoners, and they must not receive any punishment.
“Based on ADHOC’s report [maybe this should say ‘LICADHO’?], in January 2009 there were 40 children living with their parents in prisons, where 22 are male and 18 are female. There are 17 children in the Rehabilitation Center II, 2 in the prison in Takhmao, 2 in the prison in Battambang, 3 in Banteay Meanchey, 4 in Siem Reap, 8 in Sihanoukville, 1 in Koh Kong, 1 in Kompong Chhnang, and 2 in Kompong Cham.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 March 2009
Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, 48, 27.3.2009
- Video of Police and Military Police Shooting at Chi Kraeng District Residents [over land dispute] Is Published
- USAID Donates US$77 Million to Promote Khmer Citizen’s Health [to help project implementation by donating funds to the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC), the University Research Corporation, LLC (URC), and the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) – which has an excellent database with a lot of information]
Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #150, 27.3.2009
- Children in Prison [with their parents] Are Suffering from Malnutrition
- More than 20,000 Red-Shirt Demonstrators [who support ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Surround Government House of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1908, 27.3.2009
- Parliament Members from the Opposition Party Ask the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy to Investigate the Allegation that Ice Manufacturing Companies Steal State Electricity
- Artillery Fire [between Tamil insurgents and government troops] Killed 54 Civilians in Sri Lanka
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #373, 27.3.2009
- Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Said that the Conviction of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Is Not Just, because Yuon [Vietnam] Also Killed Khmers after 1979
Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6613, 27.3.2009
- The Tense Conditions near the Preah Vihear Temple Gets Better after Siam [Thailand] Denied It Had Sent Troops to Violate Cambodian Territory
- America Provides Helicopters to Mexico to Combat Drugs
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3722, 27.3.2009
- [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asks the Government to Increase Import Taxes and Assist Farmers with Resources
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4854, 25.3.2009
- Officials: Big Construction of Buildings in Cambodia Is Still in Progress despite the Global Economic Crisis
- The Ministry of Culture of Vietnam Donates Musical Instruments to the Ministry of Culture [of Cambodia]
- Incheon City of Korea and Phnom Penh Sign to Tie Sister City Relations
Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1683, 27.3.2009
- Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls on Khmer Citizens to Care about Border Problems both at the West [with Thailand] and at the East [with Vietnam]
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.
Would you like easy access to several of The Mirror editions directly from your browser? You can ‘subscribe’ for free!
Click on Subscribe to The Mirror (it is to the right of the text, underneath Have a look at last week’s editorial and Previous editorials). You are offered several possibilities to select from. If you do not have any other preferences, we recommend:
Subscribe to this feed using Live Bookmarks
After you click on Subscribe Now an icon will be added to your browser. If you click on it, you have quick access to The Mirror.
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594
Observing a wide range of discussions about the future, there are two fields which get most prominent attention: the economy – and the state of law.
As the Cambodian economy – internationally – depends much on the export of garment products and on international tourism, and on a construction boom, we did mirror related reports:
The garment industry was a sure bet in the past – in every of the previous years, this sector grew by 15% to 20%. But this was not an assurance for the future. The situation is bad, but not too bad, some observers say:
In Cambodia 73 factories were closed in 2008, making nearly 25,000 workers unemployed. But 64 new factories opened, absorbing 10,000 new workers. – The export of garments to international markets dropped by 2%, while before, it was expected that it would drop by between 5% and 7%. Therefore the global financial crisis affected this sector very little.
Others are more careful to express their hope: While at present the future looks really to dark, things may change:
Presently received orders will be finished by February and March 2009, and there are no buying orders for May and June 2009.
But buyers from the United States of America probably wait until the new president takes his position in mid January, then they will continue buying.
Investments in the construction industry are also facing big problems:
All construction projects of high rise buildings to develop the city to become a modern city are mostly based on foreign investment in Cambodia. Therefore large scale investments, like those by Korean investors planning constructions for the city, are delayed.
The labor unions say that 30% of the construction workers are laid off, and various projects are suspended; and it is forecast that in 2009 the decline will continue.
The Minister of Tourism recognized that the global financial crisis and the confrontation with Thailand in the Preah Vihear region slows the number of tourists to Cambodia down, but Cambodia will make all efforts to guarantee the safety of tourists, and to promote the further growth of tourism.
The loss of everyday jobs and income for the families is a consequence resulting from the decline in the number of tourists to Cambodia since July 2008.
Such reductions in the economic possibilities are also reflected in the cautious employment policy of the government for new graduates, in spite of the fact that their number is increasing year by year:
The Cambodian government decided to reduce the recruitment of new civil servants from 9,000 to 8,000 to work at different ministries and departments in 2009.
To reduce employment alone will not be sufficient. We will watch out for reports about other determined decisions how to contain and to save expenses.
The plan to spend US$10 million on public lighting in Phnom Penh is surprising in this context. Even if it is intended to do this with a foreign loan, it is not only a liability to be paid back; after the investment is done, a lot of electricity will have to be paid for. Public taxpayer money will have to be spent regularly for the electricity, and this money will go to the producers of electricity; more and more private companies will profit from this.
Of course there is the hope for big oil money in the futue. And the international community has pledged around one billion dollars of aid for 2009.
The scholarly wisdom from the field of Economics and of Business Administration has not prevented a global economic meltdown of a size never before experienced. Now there are many efforts under discussion, what kind of political will and political action is needed to control the economic problems so that they do not get totally out of control. The myth about the “self-regulatory powers of the market” led into global crisis; new bold legislation and new government interventions are now being called for internationally.
There is new movement also in Cambodia in the field of the role of law.
The new year started with an almost unexpected news from the past: after five years of doubts and mistrust in police and in court actions, related to the 2004 murder of the labor leader Chea Vichea, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were released on bail, because, as the Supreme Court judge Dith Munty explained, there is a lack of clarity: the case needs further investigation, as there were gaps in the procedures, and there is insufficient evidence.
There will have to be a lot of explanation to be done, why previous investigations were not done correctly, and how it was possible that gaps in the procedures – which had been pointed out by many, including by the former King – could not be rectified without keeping two persons in prison for five years.
Now the police waits already one whole week for the green light from the court to start the new investigation. It is probably the correct procedure now to wait for the court again. When there is a lack of clarity, new investigations are to be made, according to the law, independently from any outside influence, also independent from the executive branch of the government, according to the Constitution of the country.
Article 51 of the Constituton says:
“The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country. All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, The Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary. The legislative, executive, and judicial powers shall be separate.”
But it is at least surprising that the effort by three persons, accredited by the Bar Association of Cambodia to act at the courts in Cambodia, met with difficulties when hey tried to file a law suit. They want to initiate a clarification by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court about allegations of irregularities at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. They had not been able, in spite of their efforts over several months, to receive certain pieces of information – as we had mirrored on Friday, 9.1.2009, in detail from the Khmer press.
What is even more surprising – not based on any legal expertize, but just on common sense – is that the appeal to a court of law to bring clarity, is not welcome, but is met by an expression of regret. The national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia criticized this appeal to a court with the argument, that they had entered into service at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal on the basis of a Royal Decree, signed by the King.
This case brings a basic problem of perception to the public, whether this society will live up to its constitution, where an independent judiciary is to find out what is right and what is wrong, or whether positions of rank will have precedence. Do the national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia not trust that the courts can fulfill their duty?
The fact, that a person had an illustrious career to which he was properly appointed, is no reason not to clarify by the courts and on the basis of the law in a transparent way, whether a person has acted properly or not. When Heng Pov, who was, over the course of time, undersecretary of state, and assistant to the Minister of the Interior, and then police commissioner of the city of Phnom Penh – who had had all the proper appointments – was put to the test by the courts, he failed and is now in prison.
Whoever is innocent, should be happy to have this finally confirmed by a normal, public court. Why not?
Please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.
Back to top
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 593
“Phnom Penh: This is a rare and almost incredible decision in the Cambodian court system during these latest decades. The Supreme Court decided to provide justice to Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun by releasing them from prison [on bail]. This was decided by the Supreme Court on 31 December 2008 during the hearing on the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea.
“After a four-hour hearing, the president of the Supreme Court who was presiding over the panel of five judges, the judge Dith Munty, announced to return the murder case of Mr. Chea Vichea to the Appeals Court for reinvestigation and retrial. The Supreme Court decided also to release Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun on bail, but requires them to be present on the dates that the court authorities decide.
“Judge Dith Munty explained that this decision was made because the murder case of the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia five years ago needs further investigation, as there are gaps in the procedures, and there is insufficient evidence.
“After the decision of the Supreme Court, the accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were immediately brought back to the PJ prison, to wait for the release order from the Supreme Court.
“This decision was welcomed by the families of the released, by civil society organizations, and by the embassies observing the murder case of Mr. Chea Vichea; and the decision was considered to be a new turning point for the Cambodian court system.
“With great happiness, Born Samnang’s parents, Ms. Nuon Kimsry and Mr. Voun Phon, expressed their satisfaction beyond words, outside of the court room, considering that the court had really brought justice.
“The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, who observed the hearing with keen interest, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. This decision is a new turning point in the court system in Cambodia. Now impunity will be eliminated in future by the correct implementation of the law.
“Representatives of several embassies had observed the hearings of the Supreme Court, and the US Embassy released a statement welcoming the decision to release the accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [on bail].
“A few days before the hearing, the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Observatory for Protection of Human Right Defenders, Amnesty International, and the Treatment Committee, 21 organizations of human rights defenders communities, had released statements asking the Supreme Court to provide justice to the accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. Civil society organizations believed that both of them are not the real murderers oft Mr. Chea Vichea.
“A Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Phay Siphan, said that the decision of the Supreme Court about the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea is not related to reforms of the court system. He said also that that decision was not made according to someone else’s will or according to political considerations. It is a decision on which no one has the power to influence it, it is the will of the judges who have brought suspicions to an end through the process of the law.
“However, analysts of the murder case of Chea Vichea think that the Supreme Court made this decision because some of the police who built this case (Heng Pov’s group) are mostly criminals, and are now detained. Another point is that Mr. Heng Pov had also said that the former powerful police chief, who had recetly died, was also involved in the murder case of Mr. Chea Vichea. Therefore it is now the time that the Supreme Court acts independently to provide justice to the accused, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who were imprisoned nearly five years.
“It should be noted that during the hearing of the Supreme Court on 31 December 2008, both Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun claimed that they are not the real murderers who shot dead Mr. Chea Vichea. As for the defense lawyers of the accused Born Samnang and of Sok Sam Oeun, they raised arguments to defend both of them. Sok Sam Oeun’s defense lawyer, Mr. Hong Kimsuon, claimed that both suspects are just persons that the police used to play a farce. Born Samnang’s defense lawyer, Mr. Chum Sovannaly, claimed that Born Samnang’s confession in this case is only a creation by the police who are incompetent [to arrest the real murderers]. They are Mr. Heng Pov’s group who persuaded and used money to lure Born Somnang and created fake evidence to put blame on both.
“The accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun had been arrested on 28 January 2004 and were convicted to serve 20 years in prison by the Phnom Penh court, for killing Mr. Chea Vichea on 22 January 2004.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4783-#4784, 1-2.1.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 2 January 2009
Chakraval, Vol.17, #2838, 2.1.2009
- Police Has a Spokesperson; [Major-General Kiet Chantharith] Becomes the Spokesperson
Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #103, 2-6.1.2009
- Economist: Prices Can Drop As Long as There Is Intervention from the Government
- Olympic Market Vendors Protest against the Thai Bunrong Company That Asks Them to Pay Vendors Stalls’ Prices 6 Months before Contracts End
- Israel Rebuffs the United Nations’ Request for a Cease Fire
- 10,000 Iranians Volunteer to Register Their Names to Commit Suicide Bombings in Israel
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1835-#1836, 1-2.1.2009
- Rare Photos Describing Events 30 Years Ago [about the victory over the Khmer Rouge regime on 7 January 1979] Are to Be Exhibited Next Week [at the Wat Phnom Exhibition Center]
- 266 People Died and 1,103 Were Injured by Traffic Accidents in Phnom Penh in 2008
- Being Discouraged by Poverty and Being Handicapped, a Man Decided to End His Life by Setting Himself and His House on Fire [Banteay Meanchey]
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #317, 2.1.2009
- It Is Time to Call [former Phnom Penh police chief, now jailed in Prey Sar Prison] Heng Pov to Reveal the Farce That He Made after the Murder of Chea Vichea [because he had organized to force Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to confess that they killed Mr. Chea Vichea]
- On 5 January 2009 Human Rights Watch Will Release a Book about Yuon [Vietnamese] Violations against Monks and against Khmer Krom People
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #173, 1.1.2009
- [Royal Cabinet advisor] Prince Sisowath Thomico Appeals to Royal Family Members to Stop Doing Politics
- Deaths from Dengue Fever in Cambodia Declined [from 407 people in 2007 to 65 people in 2008]
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6540-#6541, 1-2.1.2009
- Observation during the First Day of the Implementation of the Traffic Law in Phnom Penh Shows that 85% of Drivers Wear Helmets
- Cambodian Railways Concludes Work in 2008 and Issues Directions for 2009 [in 2008, 233,854 tonnes of goods and 4,924 passengers transported
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4783-#4784, 1-2.1.2009
- The Supreme Court Releases Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun
- Buddhist Circles Ask that the ‘Where Elephants Weep’ Opera Apologizes and Stops Performing [because there is criticism by some Buddhists and Monks in the audience. – Note: As this is an opera, all actors sing, also the monks – which seems to have been the rigger for the complaint; on TV station canceled already a program where it had been announce that ‘Where Elephants Weep’ would be broadcast]
- In 2008, the Government Borrowed US$279.5 Million [and received US$109.3 million as grant aid from financial institutions and foreign countries – according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
- [Father King] Samdech Euv Is Admitted to a Beijing Hospital for Blood Transfusion [because of leukemia]
- The United States of America Trains Cambodian Officials about Oil Resources Management
- The US Embassy Welcomes the Decision of the Supreme Court over [the president of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Mr. Chea Vichea’s Case [where Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were released on bail]
- Cambodia Joins to Share Condolences for the Death of Former Malaysian King [Tuanku Ja’afar Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman – at the Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh]
- Eldest Daughter of Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen [Hun Mana] Gets Married [to Mr. Dy Vichea, a Son of the former Director General of the National Police Hok Lundy, who recently died in a helicopter crash,]
- Fire in a Night Club in Bangkok Killed 60 People Crossing from 2008 to 2009 [it is said that the fire was caused by firecrackers released inside of the club]
Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.
Back to top