Human Rights

More Inmates Crammed Into Overcrowded Prisons

The number of Cambodians in prisons across the country surpassed 15,000 in the last year, a major bump in a system that is nearly twice its capacity, Licadho reported Friday.
The number of Cambodians in prisons across the country surpassed 15,000 in the last year, a major bump in a system that is nearly twice its capacity, Licadho reported Friday.
Chun SakadaVOA Khmer

The number of Cambodians in prisons across the country surpassed 15,000 in the last year, a major bump in a system that is nearly twice its capacity, a leading rights group reported Friday.

An inmate in many of the country’s prisons typically gets about one square meter of space, in facilities that are “bursting at the seams,” Licadho reported, and where people have to take turns sleeping in overcrowded cells.

The addition of 1,700 prisoners to the system over the last year marked a 12 percent increase overall, the group said in a report.

“Today, the prison occupancy stands at 179 percent,” the report said. “And that’s a conservative figure, given increasing evidence that some capacity figures are grossly inflated.”

Imprisonment is often imposed for a crime, “from stealing a chicken to murder,” Licadho said. At least 12 prisons are at or near double capacity, the report said.

Pung Chhiv Kek, Licadho’s founder, said Cambodian prisons are far below the international standard. In Europe, each prisoner has a four-meter-square cell. In Cambodia’s prisons, that space is as low as .8 square meters, she said.

Kuy Bun Sorn, head of the Ministry of Interior’s prison department, said he recognized the problem, but he said the overcrowding was due to the stronger enforcement of laws. Prisons are being expanded “continuously,” he said, “but the construction is not balanced with the strengthening of law.”

The International Center for Prison Studies rates Cambodia’s prisons as one of top 25 most overcrowded.

However, some work is under way to improve conditions. The Australian government provides some funding to improve prisons, including the fencing of outdoor areas to allow inmates more space and time outside.

In Prey Veng province, a construction project for three large buildings is under way, Kuy Bun Sorn said, but even that won’t be enough for the expected increase of prisoners.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hunting for Wild Honey in Cambodia's Forestsi
X
17 December 2014
Cambodia is thought to produce the best wild honey in Southeast Asia, mainly due to its climate and topography. Most of it is harvested informally and sold cheaply at local village markets. Now, one company is helping some of the country's poorest people by employing them to hunt for honey, then selling it commercially. (AP, Koh Kong)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)i
X
01 December 2014
You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
See more >>>