Adhoc Says Neglect in Prison Endangered Life of Inmate

Local rights group Adhoc has accused prison officials at Prey Sar’s Correctional Center 1 of endangering a prisoner’s life by depriving him of medical care when he became seriously ill earlier this month.

Yan Sok Kea, 21, who was arrested in November 2007 for allegedly grabbing land in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district, came down with a high fever around April 10, but was not given adequate treatment or sent to a hospital promptly, Adhoc claimed in a Wednesday statement.

“He became ill with a high fever for several days, but was given no treatment,” Adhoc said.

Adhoc chief monitor Chan Soveth said Wednesday that the prisoner was finally sent to Preah Monivong Hospital on April 12, but only after Adhoc intervened at the request of the prisoner’s concerned family.

Chan Soveth said he had visited Yan Sok Kea in hospital Monday and found him in very poor condition.

“He was unconscious and had numbness in his limbs. He did not even recognize his mother or father,” Chan Soveth said.

A doctor at the hospital, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Yan Sok Kea had been drifting in and out of consciousness and his condition remained serious.

Heng Hak, prison secretariat director general, denied any wrongdoing and claimed that Yan Sok Kea was well treated by prison medical staff.

“Normally, we treat them at the prison care center first,” he said, adding that as soon as it was determined that Yan Sok Kea’s case was serious, he was hospitalized without delay.

“We did take care of him,” he said, alleging that Yan Sok Kea’s family exaggerated the severity of his condition in order to gain attention from rights groups.

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