16 March 2013

Cambodian Kids Behind Bars (11) Lina's Story: Good and Bad

Lina is a Cambodian woman doing a 16-year prison stretch for a crime she claims she did not commit. She has a young daughter, Maly, who spent time in jail with her.

She shares her small cell with as many as 25 prisoners and their children at a time.

Sometimes she never leaves her cell for days, even weeks, at a time.

Food and water supplies are scant and often make the prisoners sick.

Clothing and hygiene products are not supplied to any prisoners or their children by the state. 

There was never enough food  for Lina's daughter, Maly.

Prison guards would often hit Lina's young child and the youngster often witnessed jailer violence against other prisoners.

Sometimes other prisoners would get angry with Lina's daughter and the prison guards often stole food and gifts given to prisoners by their families.

Lina continues her story:

'Most of the prisoners liked my child as she was very smart and knew how to talk and be nice to the
other prisoners. She is very gentle.

The best thing about having Maly live with me in prison was that I got to live with her for a few more
years, I was able to be her mother and take care of her as best as I could. I am also happy that she was
able to learn a little bit of Khmer writing from the other prisoners.

The worse thing about having Maly live in prison was that she was treated just like a prisoner. She
was always locked up and did not have any freedom. She was never allowed to play like a regular child.
and I felt that by being here, she did not have a chance at a good future.'

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