Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prisons bar visits as courts adjourn trials amid Covid

Prisons bar visits as courts adjourn trials amid Covid

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Inmates were transported back from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to the prison while their relatives saw them off. Heng Chivoan

Prisons bar visits as courts adjourn trials amid Covid

The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons (GDP) has decided to temporarily suspend visits from relatives for detainees across the country and the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has decided to adjourn all hearings for two weeks in order to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

General Department of Prisons spokesman Nuth Savana told The Post on February 24 that due to the serious nature of this latest outbreak of Covid-19 the authorities had temporarily suspended visits for two weeks.

Savana added that in these circumstances, not only would they be suspending visitations but for safety purposes they would also be limiting unnecessary contact with prisoners by prison officials and putting restrictions on prison official’s requests for leave too.

“We’ve done this before but we’ve recommended strengthening [these restrictions]. This time they will be stricter than ever before because of the new virus.

“Even in the provinces, those asking for permission to go to Phnom Penh or to other places when it isn’t necessary will not be allowed to do so. If they go somewhere and return to work infected by the virus it could quickly spread to every prisoner. So we all must be very careful,” he said.

However, he said that in cases where it was deemed necessary prison officials would allow relatives to visit inmates, but they must have a compelling reason and the visit must be approved by senior prison officials.

Kandal provincial prison director Chat Sineang told The Post that his provincial prison officials had now tightened security around the prison and would not allow relatives to visit detainees until further notice.

“When relatives come, we now require them to drop-off [items for prisoners] and we will give them to the detainee after they are disinfected with alcohol. Our community seems to be aware of the situation because this morning less than ten people came to visit relatives at the prison,” he said.

According to Savana, there are roughly 39,200 people detained in prisons across the country and of that number approximately 2,600 of them are detained in Kandal’s provincial prison.

Cambodia’s courts are also taking measures in response to this latest outbreak of Covid-19. Phnom Penh municipal court has decided to suspend all scheduled hearings from February 24 to March 12 to assist the government in preventing community transmission of the virus.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court has announced that because of the Covid-19 situation following the “February 20 community incident” where the virus is spreading more rapidly in the community and containment is proving to be more complicated than with previous events the court has decided to postpone all hearings scheduled from February 24 to March 12, 2021.

The announcement states that the municipal court will reschedule these hearings after the Covid-19 situation due to the “February 20 community incident” has improved.

The court also stated in the announcement that the daily administrative work of receiving complaints and providing court services to people will continue normal operations during this period.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Molnupiravir treatments available at Cambodia Post

    The working group overseeing the management, distribution and supply of strategic drugs in the fight against Covid-19 at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has begun distributing 200mg molnupiravir capsules with the brand name Molnatris at all branches of its Cambodia Post from January 19 in