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Cambodia Lauded for Anti-Torture Progress


The Asian Human Rights Commission applauded initiatives by the Ministry of Interior to curtail the abuse of prisoners following their arrests, after Cambodian officials attended a meeting on the Optional Protocol Against Torture in Manila last month.

The Interior Ministry’s department of prisons was making progress in preventing the abuse of prisoners, said Lao Monghay, a senior researcher for the Commission, especially with a program to train prisoners in skills they can use after their release.

Cambodia became a signatory to the anti-torture protocol in 2007, requiring the government to establish an independent system to prevent torture.

Lao Monghay said that while the courts and Interior Ministry were making strides towards curbing the practice, the government should nominate several individuals to work on a UN OPAT subcommittee in Geneva.

Sieng Lapress, undersecretary of state for the Interior Ministry, told VOA Khmer that Cambodia was working to establish a “mechanism” to prevent torture, “but we need to have a talk with our international partners, who want the mechanism to be independent.”

Cambodian prisoners have come under fire in recent months for the deaths of inmates in at least two prisons.

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