Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capital's detention centers a hell away from home

Capital's detention centers a hell away from home

Capital's detention centers a hell away from home

rehab.gif
rehab.gif

THE Ministry of Social Welfare has apparently re-opened at least one

of its three shadowy detention centers around the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

PITIFUL PRISON

Kapsrov, on the edge of the capital, housed up to 90 homeless people. Mass arrests have begun again in Phnom Penh.

Kapsrov center, near Wat Pun Phum in Dang Kor district about, 13km west of the city

center, has been used by the Ministry of Social Welfare as a "center for homeless

people" for two years.

Up to 90 people were locked up in the wooden building - 23 meters long by 9 meters

wide - all day except at 3pm when they were allowed to go out to take a bath.

The centers were closed over the election period, but on Aug 4 the Post witnessed

the reintroduction of the round-ups of squatters and beggars by armed Military Police

and plain-clothes police near Phsar Thmei.

Escapees from the camp have told the Post and human rights workers that authorities

there were effectively holding them for ransom. They alleged they were beaten, electrocuted,

interrogated and some women raped or forced to give sexual favors to camp soldiers

in exchange for their release.

They said the camps have now been fenced off and are patrolled by guards with dogs.

There is little food and detainees have to squat over holes in the floor to relieve

themselves.

Most prisoners come from Prey Veng and Svay Rieng - areas so drought-stricken and

poor that villages have been meeting together for some months and selecting able-bodied

locals to go to the capital to try to make some money.

Minister of Social Welfare Suy Sem disagreed that force was used to arrest or detain

homeless people. He said "social workers" counseled the homeless who were

only then taken to the center if they consented to go.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked