Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After exorcism, woman left in critical condition

After exorcism, woman left in critical condition

After exorcism, woman left in critical condition

A twenty-year-old woman is in critical condition after suffering serious burns in an exorcism ritual conducted by a traditional Khmer fortune teller on Wednesday in Kampong Speu’s Odong district.

The woman – Ou Sareth – was taken to the fortune teller’s home in Preah Sre commune after her mother believed she was possessed by an evil spirit, said commune police chief Meach Moen.

Using a bundle of burning incense sticks, the fortune teller burned Sareth’s face and body, attempting to exorcise the spirit, said Moen.

It was only after a neighbour noticed the smoke and halted the ritual that the burning finally stopped. By then, both the fortune teller and Sareth’s mother had realised the gravity of their actions and fled to avoid arrest, Moen added.

Sareth, a former factory worker, was rushed to hospital by the neighbour who intervened.

Police are actively searching for both Sareth’s mother and the fortune teller.

“This is the first time such a thing has happened. Now we are looking for her mother to question her,” Moen said.

“I cannot believe that a mother would allow a fortune teller to burn her daughter just because he tells her that her daughter’s body is possessed by an evil spirit.”

According to her sister-in-law, Nong Sophy, 35, Sareth had suffered from lethargy and an inability to speak for two years, which led her mother to believe she was possessed.

Sophy said the fortune teller the duo had visited was widely known to be skilled in traditional Khmer healing.

That said, she lamented the fact that Sareth has been left in such a condition.

“Her face and body are seriously injured, and she has to remain in hospital for treatment,” she said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all