One of the six prisoners who broke out of Ratanakkiri Provincial Prison last week was apprehended in Kratie province on Saturday night, two days after the inmates cut through the bars of their cell window and a chain-link fence in a night-time escape.
The escape was the latest in a string of breakouts at the prison, and at least one observer yesterday said that questions remained as to whether guards were involved in providing the inmates with the tools used to saw through the window bars.
Prison director Tin Sovanny said yesterday that escapee Si Noy was arrested while meeting his girlfriend at a guesthouse in Kratie’s Chhlong district.
“Now this prisoner is being detained in our prison. For the other five prisoners who escaped, multiple police forces will be able to send them back to our prison in the near future since we have deployed our networks everywhere,” he said.
However, Chhay Thy, a coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, criticised prison administrators’ carelessness, and said that in the past two years there had been four separate jailbreaks at Ratanakkiri Provincial Prison, with a total of 22 prisoners escaping. Of them, he added, only two have been caught.
“For this case, the authorities should launch a thorough investigation, since collusion between the prisoners and prison guards might have gone on, and that’s why the prisoners were capable of breaking out of the prison,” he said.