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Prison death: Official fears fatal illness contagious

Prison death
ONE inmate has died and four others have become ill at Ratanakkiri provincial prison, a representative of a local rights group said yesterday.

Chhay Thy, a provincial investigator for Adhoc, said 24-year-old prisoner Sok Sarin died on Thursday after suffering severe pains in his stomach and sternum, and that four inmates who shared a room with him have since displayed similar symptoms.

“Sok Sarin died when he got pain in the sternum. The prison guards took him to hospital twice, but he still could not be saved,” he said. “After he died, many other prisoners got similarly sick, and I am concerned that it might be a contagious disease.”

He said that two of the prisoners had been sent to the provincial hospital yesterday, and that two were receiving treatment on the prison grounds.

Hing Sokunthea, superintendent of the provincial hospital, said that Sok Sarin had died in the hospital from “a serious inflammatory lung disease”, and that he did not believe his illness was related to that of the other prisoners.

Ratanakkiri provincial prison chief Ngin Nael could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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