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Prison official slams Raiya’s criticisms of ‘hellish’ Prey Sar

University student Kong Raiya, is escorted by offficials outside Phnom Penh Court last year where he was tried for inciting revolution
University student Kong Raiya, is escorted by offficials outside Phnom Penh Court last year where he was tried for inciting revolution Pha Lina

Prison official slams Raiya’s criticisms of ‘hellish’ Prey Sar

Cambodia's prisons department yesterday slammed comments made by recently released university student Kong Raiya, who was jailed for 18 months over his Facebook call for a Cambodian “colour revolution”.

Raiya, released last week, described “hellish” conditions in Prey Sar prison, adding that gambling, smoking and drug-use were widespread behind bars.

In a letter yesterday, the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Prisons said Raiya’s statements were “politically biased, rather than constructive criticism”.

The letter, signed by prisons spokesman Nuth Savna, claimed the country’s facilities were all in accordance with the minimum level of UN standards and the Cambodian constitution. He did not, however, deny that gambling, smoking or drug use took place inside.

“The prison department, in cooperation with National Authority for Combating Drugs and the National Police, has assigned experts to search for drugs in the prison [by testing] all the 5,097 prisoners in Prey Sar ... from January 15-16, 2017,” he said, claiming “only 26 detainees out of 5,097” had used drugs in the prison.

Raiya could not be reached yesterday.

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