Battambang Provincial Prison officials yesterday refused to clarify details surrounding the death of a 27-year-old inmate inside prison walls and have denied access to local media and NGOs looking to investigate the death.
Prison officials yesterday claimed that the man had a stomach pain that then led to a heart attack on Friday, with prison director Ul Thearith saying a provincial committee had investigated the death but had yet to release its findings.
“The committee has already handed over the body to the family”, he said, refusing to comment further.
Battambang court spokesman Touch Sopheakdey reiterated that the cause of death was a heart attack, adding that prison staffers had attempted to take the inmate to a clinic within the premises. “He was in a serious condition. It is not from any torture. Nowadays there is no more torture,” he said.
The man, who officials refused to name, had served 10 months of a two-year sentence on charges of aggravated violence.
Licadho’s Yat Kimsan said the prison director was routinely reluctant to let the group provide assisstance to inmates and had been so in this case as well.