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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM lashes out at rehab critics

PM lashes out at rehab critics

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has lashed out at critics who “blindly attack” Cambodia’s controversial drug rehabilitation centres, accusing international rights organisations of bias in a speech Wednesday.

“Some human rights organisations, lacking in rational consideration, take the chance to blindly attack without seeing the government’s charity,” Hun Sen said before 300 drug police officials during an Interior Ministry conference on combating narcotics.

The premier did not name a specific organisation, but a Human Rights Watch report in late January blasted the Kingdom’s 11 government-run rehabilitation centres, claiming that drug users are subject to abuse including “sadistic violence” and forced labour in the facilities.

Hun Sen said drug users in the centres will soon receive daily allowances and medication.

“They are not criminals. They are the victims, so they should receive proper treatment,” Hun Sen said, before ordering Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng to buy drug medication and the Ministry of Justice to adopt a proposed law on combating drugs in May in order to send it to the National Assembly for debate.

Last December, the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) conducted a criticised trial of the Vietnamese detoxification medication Bong Sen on 21 drug users.



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