A prison guard at Pursat province’s Correctional Center 4 allegedly shot dead a fellow guard with an AK-47 assault rifle on Sunday night in the prison compound, officials said.
Chhem Chamroeun, 38, was arrested immediately following the shooting of Ke Vibol, 25, in the guards’ sleeping quarters, said Phnom Kravanh district police chief Pich Sopheap. He added that the victim died on the way to the district health center.
The killing followed an argument between the two men after Ke Vibol woke up Mr Chamroeun by turning on the light and tapped his head with a stick, Mr Sopheap said.
“It was not a big dispute, but the suspect was drunk,” he said, noting that Mr Chamroeun had been drinking outside the prison. “The suspect took his AK-47 and shot the victim after he touched his head. He was angry because the victim is younger than him and touched his head.”
Mr Chamroeun would be sent from the district police station to the provincial police headquarters today, Mr Sopheap added.
Him Sophal, director of CC4, said the alleged murder took place when the two prison guards were off duty. Mr Sophal said that in the wake of the crime, he would take measures to educate and discipline his staff. “We will strengthen the regulation of our prison guards.”
Prison guards are reminded at every meeting not use weapons without permission, he added.
Am Sam Ath, senior monitor at rights group Licadho, voiced concern at the alleged murder after a guard committed suicide last month in Takeo provincial prison.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court in April also charged a 22-year-old prison guard with raping the 3-year-old daughter of a fellow guard in a watchtower of the prison.
“The General Department of Prisons should strengthen morality and internal regulations of prisons,” Mr Sam Ath said. “This crime was between prison guards. We worry that next time it will be against the prisoners.”