Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison death leads to directive to clean cells, educate inmates

Prison death leads to directive to clean cells, educate inmates

Prison death leads to directive to clean cells, educate inmates

091228_04
Prisoners sit in the courtyard of Prey Sar prison.

THE Ministry of Interior is warning prison officials throughout the country to take extra care of inmates after one prisoner died and 20 others fell ill because of poor sanitation in Kandal province’s Takhmao Prison, officials said.

“We have cautioned prisons throughout the country to take extra care of inmates’ health,” Heng Hak, director general of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Prisons, said Sunday.

“We have instructed officials to clean prisoners’ rooms and educate inmates on how to take care of their health.”

The warning comes after a 16-year-old inmate at Takhmao Prison died last week in what some officials speculated may have been an outbreak of cholera. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed, but officials acknowledge it was likely related to the use of unclean water and poor sanitation.

Rights groups and UN observers have raised concerns over prison conditions in Cambodia, noting severe overcrowding and unsanitary conditions stemming from shortages in funding.

Kong Chhun Ly, director of Kandal’s Chey Chumneas Hospital, which works to educate prisoners and prison staff on hygiene, said sickness in prisons is not generally a serious problem.

“Some inmates get serious diarrhoea because they use unclean water and poor sanitation around their sleeping areas,” he said.

“That’s why we have to come here to teach them how to clean and about body hygiene.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth