Prey Sar prison management yesterday said it could no longer afford to house suspects held in pre-trial detention as it is overcrowded.
Lieutenant General Be Tealeng, deputy director general at the General Department of Prisons, said yesterday Prey Sar is housing more than 9,000 inmates which exceeds its maximum capacity of 6,000.
“Those who have committed general offences such as drug abuses will be sent to the new PJ prison,” he said, noting that this facility which can house 800 to 1,000 inmates is a former planned pay-to-stay prison next to Prey Sar prison but was scrapped in July last year.
He said about 400 inmates at the old PJ prison located inside the compound of the Phnom Penh Municipal police headquarters were transferred to the new PJ prison last month.
Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager of rights group Licadho, said yesterday Prey Say prison has been overcrowded due to the crackdown on drug crimes. He said: “The new PJ prison is more spacious than Prey Sar prison.”
“This is just a temporary resort because the number of the inmates involving in drug abuses is on the increase,” he said.
Mr Sam Ath said that the court should grant bails to inmates committing petty crimes to alleviate overcrowding.
General Meas Vyrith, secretary general of the National Authority for Combatting Drug, yesterday acknowledged that drug crackdowns have led to an overcrowding.