Three Prisons to Be Relocated, Two in Land Swaps

Officials on Wednesday confirmed plans to relocate three run-down and overcrowded provincial prisons, two as part of land swaps with private companies that will build the new facilities.

Nouth Savna, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s prison department, said the Preah Sihanouk and Pursat provincial prisons would be constructed by private firms, while the Takeo prison would be relocated at the government’s expense.

The Preah Sihanouk prison was swapped as part of a deal with the Sambo Dara company, said Bounak Sophorn, a provincial prison official, adding that he did not know what the company did. The company began work on the new prison about two months ago, he said.

Representatives of Sambo Dara could not be reached. Officials provided no details about the other two projects.

Rules against public-private land swaps do not apply to state-run prisons, but rights groups have previously expressed concern about such deals, saying they provide prime real estate to companies that often fail to build high-quality detention facilities in return.

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