Officials to Visit Infamous Center After PM’s Warning

Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong and senior officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs will inspect the city’s notorious Prey Speu detention center on Thursday, two days after Prime Minister Hun Sen demanded that the facility either improve or close.

Although the center—long used as a holding compound for the city’s vagrants, prostitutes and drug users—has recently been renamed the Phnom Penh Social Affairs center, it is still widely referred to as Prey Speu.

“Related to the Prey Speu center, the municipal leaders, as well as relevant leaders from the Ministry of Social Affairs, will visit the center tomorrow to inspect the exact situation there,” said City Hall spokesman Chin Bunthoeun.

“The visit is to find out what the next procedure will be.” On Tuesday, Mr. Hun Sen railed against Prey Speu, which has drawn rebuke from human rights groups for everything from arbitrary detention to physical and sexual abuse by guards.

“If it needs to be closed, there’s no need to keep it open because it has caused a lot of trouble,” the prime minister said.

“If it needs to continue, it must be improved.”

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