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.