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Women in Thai prison receive antenatal care

THAI authorities have begun providing health services to two pregnant Cambodian women jailed for trespassing and logging illegally in Thailand’s Surin province, though they have rebuffed calls for the pair to be released, the Cambodian government says.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Thailand had promised to send the women to a local hospital for regular checkups and to ensure that they will have access to hospital facilities for the birth of their children.

“Thailand has now implemented a policy of looking after the two pregnant women and checking their health at a hospital regularly,” he said Wednesday, citing reports from consular officials.

“We want them to be released back home, but … [we] have to comply with the court ruling and the law in Thailand.”

The two women are part of a group of six Cambodians from Oddar Meanchey province’s Samrong district who were sentenced in February to 27 months in jail for logging illegally in Thai territory. The group was arrested by Thai soldiers in January while collecting rattan.

Koy Kuong said the government was in the process of filing an appeal on the villagers’ behalf.

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