Prison officers to be trained to protect inmates against torture and violence

Prison officers to be trained to protect inmates against torture and violence Prison officers to be trained to protect inmates against torture and violence

Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) and the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will work together with the Ministry of Interior to eradicate torture and violence in all correctional centres and prisons across the Kingdom.

However, the Ministry of Interior said that the situation in these centres and prisons are not as serious or sensitive at the moment as the situation is being managed by creating awareness and educating the authorities.

The move to work together came about when OHCHR representative Pradeep Wagle in a meeting yesterday requested CHRC president Keo Remy to have one policy to stop violence and torture in Cambodia prisons

CHRC had agreed they will organise workshops to train officials on protecting prisoners against torture in prisons.

CHRC vice-president Chin Malin said yesterday that the OHCHR and the Ministry of Interior will work together with them to ensure that the inmates of the centres and prison are not tortured and all forms of violence will be stopped.

“All of us will come together to conduct training classes, and workshops for the relevant officials to teach them about prisoners’ rights and the need to stop violence and torture of inmates,” he added.

In the past, he said there was some form of torture inflicted on the inmates of the centres and prisons by the officials but those found doing so were taken to task by higher authorities and punished or fined.

“There were even occasions where the official had tortured the prisoner to such an extent that he succumbed to the injuries sustained. The official was charged and sentenced by the court,” said Malin.

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

Malin said that Cambodia has and is taking all proactive measures to stop violence and torture in correctional centres and prisons as the Kingdom strongly adheres to the anti-torture protocol.

General Department of Prisons spokesman Lieutenant General Nuth Savna said yesterday that the Ministry has been paying serious attention to this issue and is taking all measures to ensure there is no violence and torture of prisoners.

“In the past, Interior Minister Sar Kheng had ordered all provinces and towns to have a complaint box so that people can put in the information of any torture or violence against prisoners and these boxes are collected twice a month,” he added.

He said if there is a complaint, it will be thoroughly investigated as per the law process till those responsible are punished in accordance with the law, including being removed from their positions, fined or sentenced.