The Cambodian Government Should Close All Centers Arbitrarily Detaining People

cambdetcetr-226x226The Cambodia government needs to take action and close all facilities arbitrarily holding “undesirables.” According to Human Rights Watch, the abusive nature of these centers was highlighted on November 26, 2014 when a man, Phea, who was arbitrarily detained and denied medical treatment, died at the Prey Speu center. On November 2, 2014, authorities brought Phea to the Prey Speu’s Po Senchey Vocational Training Center. According to Human Rights Watch: “Phea had been picked up during ‘sweeps’ by security forces in Phnom Penh to clear homeless people and others considered ‘undesirable’ off the streets prior to Cambodia’s traditional Water Festival being held on November 5-7. When the police took Phea off the streets he was seriously ill and was covered with infected wounds all over his body. However, the center staff made no efforts to provide him with any medical treatment and refused to take him elsewhere for treatment. He died on November 26, 2014 and the police made no investigations into his death.

According to the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides that medical care and treatment shall be provided to detainees whenever necessary and free of charge. Whenever a person dies in detention, “an inquiry into the cause of death … shall be held by a judicial or other authority.” In addition, “[t]he findings of such inquiry … shall be made available upon request.”

The Cambodian government needs to take action to protect these vulnerable people. These centers need to be closed immediately because they are not providing individuals with medical treatment. Additionally, why has the Cambodian government not investigated the death of Phea? What do you think needs to be done? If the government does not close these centers what can be done to enforce the United Nations Body of Principles?

Naly Pilorge, the director of Licadho stated: “Keeping Cambodia’s detention centers open is an endless invitation to the authorities to violate the human rights of people deemed ‘undesirable.’ The systematic abuse of Cambodia’s most vulnerable people occurs at these centers and the government should close them immediately.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

Additionally, Licadho, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights organizations have documented torture and systematic cruel and inhumane treatment, as well as rapes, killings, and other abuses at the Prey Speu center since it became operational in 2004. So why has the Cambodian government failed to take action? How else can these organizations get the government to take action?


Source: Human Rights Watch


Tags: Cambodia, Cambodia Government, Human Rights Watch, Licadho, Naly Pilorge, Phea, United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, Undesirables, Prey Speu’s Po Senchey Vocational Training Center


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