Source: Amnesty International –
Amnesty International is releasing shocking footage providing first-hand evidence of the inhumane conditions and extreme overcrowding inside one of Cambodia’s prisons.
The organization recently called the country’s detention facilities a “ticking time bomb” for a potentially disastrous coronavirus outbreak.
“These deplorable conditions make a mockery of ‘physical distancing’ and show the Cambodian authorities’ utter neglect for these inmates’ basic rights, even during a pandemic,” said David Griffiths, Director in the Office of the Secretary-General at Amnesty International.
“These conditions were never acceptable. Today they are completely unconscionable. The authorities must urgently ease this overcrowding crisis while giving all detainees access to appropriate healthcare without discrimination.”
The video is recent and taken in one of the country’s prisons. The exact date and location of the footage cannot be revealed to protect its original source.
We’ve received shocking footage from Cambodia, revealing the inhumane conditions inside one of its prisons. Such extreme overcrowding is a ticking time bomb for a #COVID19 outbreak. Cambodian authorities must immediately address this overcrowding crisis. pic.twitter.com/DWv8qf8uyD
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) April 10, 2020
According to government data, Cambodia’s prisons held 38,990 people as of 2 April 2020, despite having an estimated capacity of just 26,593. Some facilities were previously estimated to be up to 463% over capacity.
Cambodia’s national prison population has skyrocketed by approximately 78% since December 2016 as a result of the government’s punitive and abusive anti-drugs campaign, now in its fourth year. Over 72% of all prisoners in Cambodia are reportedly held in pre-trial detention and thousands are held for minor, non-violent offences such as use or possession of drugs.
These deplorable conditions make a mockery of ‘physical distancing’ and show the Cambodian authorities’ utter neglect for these inmates’ basic rights, even during a pandemic.