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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Locked in house: Daughter a prisoner for ‘own safety’

Locked in house: Daughter a prisoner for ‘own safety’

A man has his 30-year-old daughter, who went missing in the forest for 18 years, locked in a house that resembles a chicken pen because he fears she will run back to the forest or be raped by villagers, he said.

Sal Lou, 65, the father of Rochom P’nhieng, said his daughter had fled to the forest seven times since being found in a Ratanakkiri province forest in January, 2007 after having gone missing in 1989 while herding buffalo.

She was brought from the jungle, naked and dirty, after being caught trying to steal food from a farmer and was hunched over like a monkey, scavenging on the ground for pieces of dried rice, her father said.

Sal Lou said he did not want to lock up his daughter, but did so for her ‘‘own safety’’.

In June, 2010, Rochom P’nhieng had fallen into a 10-metre hole that had been dug as a toilet, he said.

“Before that, she wore clothes, washed clothes and cleaned the house by herself, and she also spoke a few words and drew pictures, but the accident changed her.”

Sal Lou said his family needed help because he did not have the means to look after his daughter.

“I don’t have money to send my daughter to hospital. I want to appeal to organisat-ions or generous people to help my daughter,” he said.



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