A group of 26 prisoners at the Kampong Speu Provincial Prison attempted to bust out by pretending to have stomach pains and then attacked and injured four prison officials. However, the escape plot failed when it was put down by Kampong Speu provincial armed forces.
Kampong Speu provincial prison chief Tin Vanny told The Post on Monday that the insurrection occurred on Sunday. The prisoners were newly transferred inmates who were required to be detained separately from other prisoners for 14 days as a precaution against Covid-19.
“According to the Kampong Speu Provincial Court detention order, the men in question were arrested by the authorities for drug offences and causing violence. Their cases have yet to be heard by the court,” Vanny said.
He said prior to the escape attempt, three or four prisoners had pretended to have stomach pains, repeatedly running into the toilet, and then lying down in the detention room while another four to 10 prisoners called on prison officials to intervene and take them to the hospital for treatment.
Four prison guards unlocked the cell door and were attacked and injured. Prison staff immediately reported the incident to the Kampong Speu provincial governor with a request to intervene and dispatch forces to put down the violence.
Vanny said 12 minutes later, at 7:12pm on Sunday, armed forces, including police, Military Police and soldiers numbering more than 100, arrived and encircled the prison.
“About 20 of the 46 prisoners who did not participate in the offence ran to stay in their room. The other 26 prisoners, who were causing the rebellion, ran to the roof of the building and hid near the barbed wire fence.
“At 7:20pm we were able to detain them and send back into the prison cell safely. Currently, authorities are preparing to file complaints against them for prison rebellion and intentional violence. We shall submit our complaint to the prosecutor at the Kampong Speu Provincial Court,” Vanny said.
He said the four prison officials injured in the attack included Cheam Sophal, the deputy head of the Kampong Speu prison. Soung Ratha, the deputy head of the prison administration suffered head injuries while Sunn Samnang and Ry Phorn, both deputy chiefs of security, also suffered injuries. Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang told The Post on Monday that the case was indicative of the good cooperation of the armed forces to ensure security for the people and the nation.
“After receiving reports from prison officials that there were insurgents attacking the prison officials to escape, I ordered the armed forces to immediately repress the riot and our forces spent 10 minutes completing the operation quickly without anyone escaping.
“Although the prisoners were new, and their court hearings had not begun, the offences they committed on Sunday night means they will face additional charges on top of their previous offences the court has charged them with,” Samnang said.