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Ratanakkiri officials plan to relocate jail

Plans are underway for a private South Korean company to build a new prison in Ratanakkiri, according to provincial authorities.

Deputy Provincial Governor Thorng Sarun said yesterday that the provincial prison will relocate from its current location in Banlung town to O’Chum district, moving a distance of approximately five to seven
kilometres from its current location.

“The current prison is the first thing people see when visiting the province, so we’ll move it to the outskirts and the Korean company will build a supermarket and housing on the former prison’s land,” said Thorng Sarun.

The Korean company will provide US$500,000 to buy an estimated seven hectares and to build the new prison, Thorng Sarun said. He added that five hectares have already been secured by the Interior Ministry and it is working to acquire two more.

Thorng Sarun said he expects the new location will have enough water and electricity for prisoners, and hopes some land will be used for agriculture and animals pastures.

The plan to move the prison began in 2006 with the Tai Seng company, but the company abandoned the plan due to the economic crisis.

Pen Bonnar, provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said yesterday he supported the move because the new prison will improve conditions for prisoners.

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