Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crowded cell inspires blogger to detail life within capital’s jail

Crowded cell inspires blogger to detail life within capital’s jail

Crowded cell inspires blogger to detail life within capital’s jail

Prey Sar prison’s first blogger has been quick to find an eager audience in cyberspace, though some readers have expressed scepticism about the blog’s authenticity.  

The first post appeared last Wednesday. By the weekend it had been linked on Twitter and English-language internet forums in Cambodia.

The blog’s author claims to be a western inmate awaiting trial at the notorious prison.

Titled “life in 1 square meter”, it details conditions inside a crowded Prey Sar cell. The author’s bravado and eccentric use of language are reminiscent of a character in an Irvine Welsh novel.

“Offcourse getting this phone in here & having access to internet is the main essentiallity. Being able to follow life on the outside, get information and actively work, makes all the difference,” read a post from yesterday afternoon. It was titled “Normal Behaviour?” and written in scattershot prose.

If u cant change ur situation, the best thing you can do is : Learn to like it. Learn to like it...

Two of the four posts include photos that appear to have been taken from a mobile device. The photos show up to 10 shirtless men crammed into an area no larger than a few square metres.  
The blog suggests inmates have to pay bribes for everything. “Lets just say: Nothing in here is for free...It starts with your place to sleep, water and from there on, anything u whish to have or do -it has a pricetag,” reads a post from Thursday morning. Even “drinkable water must be paid for”, it reads.

Yesterday’s post noted a link between rain and drug use. “Today is sunday. Thats equal to rain, which is equal to not being allowed to go outside, which usually means that some [form] of illegal drug will be consumed in most cells, - to make time pass,” the post reads.

The blog also describes lewd oddities that occur at night in the cell. Its author claims to have woken up and observed “15 khmer men aged 18-30” gathered around a DVD player watching pornography involving bestiality.

But the blog is not always bleak.  At times it’s rather inspirational: “If u cant change ur situation, the best thing you can do is: Learn to like it.Learn to like it... Well, its surprising how many times Ive found this wisdom useful, but never has it been so hard to practice this method, as in the situation I now found myself in.”

In online forums, responses have ranged from those that are genuinely intrigued to others that are sceptical an inmate could manage to blog from a Prey Sar cell.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all