A man died of malaria after being held in Takhmau prison for over a month waiting to be charged in court, a rights worker said recently.
He is the 17th person to die in one of 18 prisons surveyed in Cambodia so far this year and the second to die before being tried in court, statistics from the human rights organization Licadho showed.
Sok Sopheaktra, 28, died Dec 1 in Chey Chomneah hospital. He had been receiving treatment for six days, rights workers said. “It is truly careless of the prison to not provide medical treatment to the prisoners,” one rights worker said. “The police did not manage to send him to the hospital until he became seriously sick.”
Police denied the allegation, saying they provided Sok Sopheaktra with timely medical treatment. The problem was that the victim had an untreatable form of leukemia, not malaria, said Tom Vai, chief of justice police in Kandal province.
The medical death certificate said the patient died of cardiac and respiratory failure as a result of cerebral malaria. Fourteen of the 17 who died in prison succumbed to disease, Licadho statistics showed.
Sok Sopheaktra was arrested on charges of trafficking on Oct 24 and transferred to Takhmau prison two days later.
© 1998 – 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.