PM To Seek Better Jail Cell for Cheam Channy

Prime Minister Hun Sen will ask the military court to improve the jail conditions for opposition lawmaker Cheam Channy, but the de­cision over whether to release him on bail will be left up to the Ap­­­­peals Court, National As­sem­b­ly President Prince Norodom Ra­nariddh said Monday.

Prince Ranariddh said he met with Hun Sen on Saturday eve­ning and had relayed to the prime minister a request by opposition lawmaker Son Chhay that Cheam Channy be freed on bail.

“When I raised the issue, [Hun Sen] said he has no right. It is up to the court’s decision,” the prince told reporters outside the As­sembly.

But, Hun Sen did promise “to ask the court to look for a proper place for Cheam Channy and hold his hearing soon,” Prince Ra­nariddh said.

Cheam Channy, who was strip­ped of his parliamentary im­munity along with opposition lawmakers Sam Rainsy and Chea Poch, was arrested Feb 3, ac­cused of forming an illegal armed force.

According to Son Chhay, Cheam Channy has been kept in isolation in a room at the military court with a crumbling roof and no toilet. He likened the jail conditions to “mental torture.”

“It is improper to detain and keep him like that,” Prince Ra­na­riddh told reporters Monday.

Military court judge Pork Porn said Sunday that the Appeals Court is scheduled to decide whether to release Cheam Chan­ny on March 21.

He said he has refused to allow Cheam Channy access to newspapers or radio. “It would hinder my investigation,” Pork Porn said.



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