Voice of America

Voice of America 13 May 2020

Cambodia's Prisons Packed Despite Coronavirus Pandemic


Cambodia's packed prisons are spilling over with drug convicts after a crackdown on addicts despite the coronavirus pandemic, in this footage released by Amnesty International Wednesday, May 13.

Dozens of inmates are crowded together in a sweltering cell in this footage from April 2020.

The kingdom has taken a hard line on drugs in recent years as traffickers use the country as a transit point for heroin and methamphetamine and domestic addiction surges.

Since Cambodia started its anti-drug campaign in early 2017, its prison population has skyrocketed by 78% to more than 38,000 people.

Phnom Penh's largest jail currently holds 9,500 prisoners, more than four times its maximum capacity.

Coronavirus deaths are on the increase in jails and penitentiaries on a global scale. Officials are unable to enforce adequate distancing in crowded cells, and they are facing shortages of medical personnel and personal protective gear everywhere.


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