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No Reply to Request for Help for Addicts in Jail

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:

The Health Ministry has yet to respond to a request from the Interior Ministry last week seeking assistance in dealing with drug abuse in the country’s prisons and rehabilitation centers, Interior Ministry secretary of state Nuth Sa An said yesterday.
“So far, we have not yet received a response letter from Health Minister Mam Bunheng,” Mr. Sa An said, referring to the March 9 letter noting that a high amount of drug-use within prisons and rehabilitation centers.
The letter to the Health Ministry sought cooperation on preventing drug addiction and drug use in prisons and follows a report last year that found that one-third of the people in the country’s jails were incarcerated on drug-related convictions.
“Due to a need to manage detainees securely, safely and humanely, Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to provide treatment services to all prisoners who are addicted to drugs and need the cooperation of all relevant ministries, organizations and local authorities,” Mr. Sa An wrote in the letter. “Due to the Ministry of Health’s expertise and technical tools for treatment and detoxification, I ask his excellency to appoint an expert working group in order to cooperate and implement the orders of the government.”
Mr. Sa An said Mr. Bunheng may be delaying his response because he is visiting Svay Rieng province to investigate the situation. “I do not know when he will respond to us,” he said.
Mr. Bunheng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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