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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chained-up teenager alleged sex slave

Chained-up teenager alleged sex slave

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A 15-year-old girl chained to a concrete bench at her home in Banteay Meanchey province last week. Photograph: supplied

Police have pulled a 15-year-old girl and her parents in for questioning over allegations the girl is being kept as a virtual sex slave in her family’s home in Banteay Meanchey province, where her parents had chained her legs to a bench to prevent her from escaping, police said yesterday.

The horrific allegations, which are also being investigated by rights group Adhoc, were refuted by the girls parents, who claim their daughter is simply being locked inside the house for her own well-being.

Neighbour Khiev Bory told the Post yesterday he had visited the girl’s family last week and saw that she had been restrained in shackles.

“The girl told me that her parents forced her to work, to be a beggar and to have sex with foreign men since she was 13 years old,” he said, adding that the girl had allegedly been shackled by her parents after her eighth attempt to flee and escape their abuse.

Her story was reported in a local newspaper that quoted her as saying her parents had forced her to have sex with French and Thai nationals and they has also trafficked her to Thailand’s Sakeo province, where she was kept to work as a prostitute.

Soum Chankea, provincial Adhoc coordinator, said yesterday that Adhoc was investigating after receiving information from villagers and seeing the photos of the girl.

The girl’s father, Nuth Meoun, yesterday denied the acts described by his daughter, but admitted he was keeping her locked inside their house for her own security as she had been sneaking out at night to hang out with friends.

“We do not put the leg cuffs on her any more, we just lock her in the house and sleep with her every night,” Meoun told the Post.

“She just accused us, but we parents are angels to look after our children, so why would we force our beloved child to be a whore?” he asked angrily before hanging up on a reporter.

Um Sophal, Poipet town police chief, said yesterday that his men are investigating the situation, but that he could confirm she was no longer chained up.

“We will keep investigating and watching the girl’s family, because we are afraid the parents might do something bad to the girl after [police] have left,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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