UN Visits Infamous Prey Speu Detention Center

The U.N. and two other NGOs toured the notorious Prey Speu social affairs center in Phnom Penh yesterday, said an official, but he refused to reveal the outcome of the visit.

Officially called the Pur Senchey Vocational Training Center, it has again been in the headlines after CNRP and CPP lawmakers from the National Assembly’s health commission on Tuesday toured the facility. According to detainees and rights groups, physical and sexual abuse are rife at the center. 

Sorn Sophal, director of Phnom Penh’s social affairs department, said U.N. agencies, including Unicef, were joined by Friends International and another unnamed NGO in visiting the center yesterday, but he would not give details. “If you want to know details, you can call the U.N.,” he said.

Neither the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights nor Unicef immediately responded to requests for comment.

Mr. Sophal said Prey Speu’s remaining detainees were at the center of their own volition.

“The remaining people do not want to leave the center because they do not have relatives or a permanent home,” he said.

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