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Rights Group Blasts Prison Death

The death of a Prey Sar prison inmate Monday has prompted calls for reform of health care in the prison system.

Yan Sokea, who was arrested in November last year over a land dispute in Preah Vihear province, died Monday in the Cambodia-Soviet Friendship Hospital, after falling ill at Prey Sar, in Phnom Penh.

Yan Sokea showed symptoms of a fever as an inmate but did not receive medical treatment, the rights group Adhoc said Tuesday.

His death should be a call for review of the health care in all of Cambodia’s prisons, the group said.

Ny Chakriya, Adhoc’s monitoring unit chief, said 24 prisoners and suspects died in 2007 due to illness.

Those who are detained in Cambodia’s prison system face a shortage of medicine and food, as the prisons do not have the budgets to properly care for them, he said. “And corruption occurs in the prison that affects the healthcare for suspects and prisoners.”

Heng Hak, director of Cambodia’s prisons, denied the accusations.