Prey Sar prison

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Prey Sar Prison
Location Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Status Operational
Security class Minimum-Maximum
Capacity 500
Population 3,000 (2011) (as of fy 2007/08[1])
Managed by Ministry of Interior
Director Mong Kim Heng

The Prey Sar Prison, previously known as S24, is the largest of 24 Cambodian prisons and holds about 500 prisoners. Prey Sar is administrated by the Cambodian Ministry of Interior with liaisons from the Ministry of Health. Mong Kim Heng has served as prison Director since 2000.


Correctional Centre 1[edit]

Very little is known about Complex One, which houses the prison's male offenders, since visitors are rarely allowed. CC1 has a capacity of 1700 inmates but it now holds (Sept 2011) more than 2920 in 3 "Blocks" - A, B, and C. A fourth block is under construction by the inmates themselves(June 2010). In Block A there are inmates awaiting their trial which usually takes 6 to 8 months before going to court. Block B is for convicted prisoners, and Block C is for convicted prisoners serving long sentences. There are also about 60 prisoners at the infirmary and about 60 more living and working in the kitchen. All inmates have to pay for everything: visits, drinking water, shower water, decent food, soap, etc. The jail provides absolutely nothing but food twice a day made of the cheapest rice and a salty soup of green vegetables grown on the spot added with some catfish or pork grease. Meat is sold at the shops. The prison guards are paid 50 US dollars a month and do everything they can to make additional money from the prisoners. The atmosphere is surprisingly quiet, and there is little violence inside the jail. The living conditions are beyond imagination with 22 inmates living together in a 17 square meter cell in block A. Larger cells in Blocks B and C hold 55 inmates. It is impossible to see the outside from the cells and ventilation is scarce. The prisoners are allowed 45 minutes a day outside the cells except on weekends or days off, or while some NGO, UNO, or an embassy visit. They do not go out when during or after rainfall, or when rainfall is expected. They are to perform some physical exercise when outside.

Correctional Centre 2[edit]

Chab Si Neang directs Complex Two, which is for women and minors and contains living, teaching and medical facilities. Women offenders care for their children, who are incarcerated with their mothers at the prison.

Extrajudicial inmates[edit]

  • Gordon Vuong: an Australian facing drug smuggling charges
  • Graham Robert Cleghorn: a New Zealander on five rape accounts. During his trial evidence against him was not translated into English, and he was prevented from calling his own witnesses.
  • Johanne Vinther Axelsen: a Danish 55-year-old woman convicted of trafficking painkillers on a date before she had even entered the country. She sent, from Denmark, to her son in Cambodia, painkillers containing codeine. She then subsequently travelled to Cambodia where she was arrested and charged and was later sentenced to fifteen years in prison but was extradited to Denmark after two years.[2]

Human rights abuse allegations[edit]

Several abuse and murder allegations have arisen concerning the prison staff's treatment of its inmates:

  • Heng Touch, allegedly tortured and murdered because his family did not bribe the guards, November 21, 2008[3]


  1. ^ California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC) (2009). "Institution Statistics". California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  2. ^ Cambodia - Not a place for holiday (In Danish), the Forgotten Danes blog
  3. ^ Family alleges prison guards tortured relative to death, Phnom Penh Post, November 24, 2008