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