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Two dead at provincial prison

Two inmates from Battambang provincial prison who were convicted in the same rape case died from separate illnesses after they were sent to the provincial hospital last week, prison officials said yesterday.

Battambang prison chief Korng Saren said that Sok Korn, 30, was sent to the provincial hospital but died as the result of complications from  tuberculosis last Wednesday.

A second inmate, Soung Khim, 81, died last Thursday from of old age.

We tried to send them to the provincial hospital to help them....

“Both inmates were charged over the rape cases and one was sentenced to 15 years in prison and the other was sentenced to two years in prison,” he said.
Sok Korn had served four years and 10 months of a 15-year prison sentence when he died and Soung Khim had served more than one year of a two-year prison sentence.

“We tried to send them to the provincial hospital to help them, but we could not help,” said Korng Saren.

“We have the health centre in the prison for treatment when [prisoners] are sick, but we send them to the provincial hospital if they have serious illnesses.”

Korng Saren said that there were more than 1,000 prisoners living in the prison.

Ran Vanchorn, provincial prison researcher for human right group Adhoc, said yesterday that the two inmates died because of illness and old age.

“They live very difficult lives because they have a small and narrow place to live in and they face the risk of different kinds of diseases,” he said, adding that up to 27 prisoners live in one 4-by-4 metre room.

Kuy Bunson, Department of Prisons deputy director at the Ministry of Interior, said at the department’s annual meeting last month that 83 prisoners died in 2010, an increase from 60 prisoner deaths in 2009.

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