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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - T3 Prison to move out of town

T3 Prison to move out of town

T HE largest prison in Phnom Penh, T3, will be moved to Prey Sar reports Reasmei

Kampuchea newspaper quoting the Co-Minister of The Interior You

Hokry.

Hokry said his ministry was concerned about the safety of T3

prisoners because the jail is currently in a very critical condition.

He

said: "There was a high probability of accidents because the roofs, walls and

prison rooms are in poor condition and should not be used any more."

"The

new jail will be established with vocational schools and a place for sports

which is very important for long term detainees.

"Many opinions support

this idea because prisoners, when they are released from jail, lack skills to

earn a living."

He said his ministry would work in conjunction with the

Ministry of Economics and Finance to get the cash to build the new penal

establisment in Prey Sar, 20 km southwest of Phnom Penh.

He said: "The

Ministry of Finance will rent or sell the plot of land T3 was on and give the

money to the Ministry of Interior to construct the new prison.

"But no

date has been set for the exchange between the ministries and the amount of

money is yet to be determined."

He added: "The T3 prison site has a lot

of economic potential because it is in the central city area and will thus net a

lot of cash when the land is rented to a private company to convert into a hotel

or a trade center. However, we do not yet know who will invest

there."

Hokry said the establishment of a prison in the heart of the

capital only served a purpose when the government wished to put pressure on the

people such as during the period of French colonial rule.

He said:

"After the election the country has recovered freedom and democracy so the

prison should be moved far out of town."

T3 prison was built during the

colonial period and styled on French jails.

Prison chief Kuy Bun said

that pre 1979 there were dark cells, where convicts with severe guilt were kept,

but they have now all been turned into light cells.

Hokry said there are

more than 100 convicts in T3 prison.

Thirty seven of these prisoners

were put in custody by the former SOC government without being formally charged

or given a trial.

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