Prisoner Shot During March Jailbreak Dies

An inmate shot and injured by pri­son guards during last month’s mass jailbreak at CC3 prison in Kompong Cham province has died, bringing the death toll to 20, rights workers said.

Inmate Hong Mala, 29, was re­portedly shot during the March 23 uprising and died from his in­juries April 4, Chhoeung Sin, a re­search­er for CC3 prison, said Tuesday.

According to local human rights group Licadho, Hong Mala was waiting to be transported to Mo­ni­vong Hospital in Phnom Penh for medical treatment when he died.

Five other injured inmates have been moved to Monivong Hos­pital for treatment and another nine are being treated at the pri­son, Chhoeung Sin said.

Seventeen inmates were shot and killed on the day of the breakout, and government officials hastily buried their bodies the next morning without releasing their identities. The 18th prisoner to die, Soeung Sochea, 56, es­caped on the day but died within hours of being rearrested on March 30. Pri­son officials said he died from overeating.

Prison Chief Sun Bunna, whom officials say was taken hos­tage by prisoners, died two days after the incident from wounds sustained after being inadvertently shot by his own guards.

Huy Tork, deputy chief of the prison department at the Ministry of the Interior, remains in a coma in a Vietnamese hospital from un­spec­ified injuries sustained during the breakout.

Though details on what took place inside CC3 are extremely sketchy, human rights workers said Tuesday that they find the death of Soeung Sochea from “overeating” highly suspect.                                     Prison officials had identified him as one of the ringleaders of the jailbreak, rights workers said.

Questions were also raised shortly after the jailbreak following publication of photos taken in­side the prison showing injured and possibly dead prisoners still wear­ing handcuffs.

Eleven escapees are still at large, and Kompong Cham police Chief Kong Sokhon said Tuesday that he believes the men have left the province. He said his officers are still searching for the men but have no new leads.


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