Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison mismanagement brings fatal results

Prison mismanagement brings fatal results

Prison mismanagement brings fatal results

KOMPONG SPEU - One prisoner is dead, seven more hospitalized, and ninety percent

of the rest of the prison population here are sick after being fed rancid rice and

weak soups for months.

Prisoners are suffering from many diseases, including beri-beri and tuberculosis

from which 36-year-old Va Sarin died on Sept 28 - but all are worsened by chronic

malnutrition.

Kompong Speu provincial authorities had privatized the prison food contract in May

to two businessmen at, according to figures calculated by the Post, around $1,000

a month.

Hospital and provincial government authorities were told repeatedly of an "impending

disaster" at the prison but seemed to do nothing.

Local human rights NGOs have also been heavily criticized by their ineffective actions

while conditions in this previously unheralded prison worsened.

General Nga Seng Heng of the Ministry of Interior, who is in charge of prisons, visited

Kompong Speu earlier this month after being made aware of the situation and he ordered

the food contract canceled.

However, in developments this week, the Post has learned that the food contract has

not been canceled.

Also, of the seven prisoners visited by the Post in hospital on Oct 9 and 10, six

have been ordered back to prison because hospital chiefs say they have been faking

their illnesses.

A doctor from the International Red Cross has confirmed the diagnosis that they are

suffering from advanced malnutrition, as well as other diseases.

Prison director Sam Samon said 75 of the 84 prisoners were sick. One human rights

worker said that many are unable to walk, and the Post witnessed prisoners who were

partially or totally blind, and very weak.

The United Nations Center for Human Rights (UNCHR) has requested the World Food Program

(WFP) provide food, which WFP has agreed to do for 40 days.

However, the prison is believed not to have enough money to buy firewood to cook

WFP's raw rice and fish, because they are still paying for the contractors' food.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the