The Cambodian “war on drugs” launched in 2017 has offered little help to addicts while adding to overcrowded prisons and ongoing human rights abuses, according to a newly released report from human rights group Amnesty International.
In the Monday release, researchers from Amnesty say they interviewed more than 30 alleged drug users from Cambodia who had spent time circulating through either the criminal justice or compulsory rehabilitation systems. Testimony from the individuals spoke of dysfunctional administrations riddled with corruption and harsh treatment of the detained, in which treatment can amount to beatings and forced, military-style exercise.
“Cambodia’s ‘war on drugs’ is an unmitigated disaster,” stated Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty’s regional director, in a press release. “It rests upon systematic human rights abuses and has created a bounty of opportunities for corrupt and poorly-paid officials in the justice system, while doing nothing for public health and safety.”