Mentally ill man chained under house

Mentally ill man chained under house

Limited funds and support from NGOs and government agencies has forced a Svay Rieng family to put a mentally ill relative in chains, to keep him from frequent violent confrontations with family and neighbours, family members and rights groups say.

Human rights NGO Licadho yesterday said they would investigate the case of Sen Phally, 33, who neighbours reported has been chained under his family’s house for the past two years, said Licadho coordinator Nut Bopel Rot.

“Putting this man in chains like this violates his human rights,” Bopel Rot said yesterday. “But his family has no choice, because he is mentally ill, he has attacked his family and neighbours.”

Phally’s family has sought assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs and several NGOs, his sister Sen Nai said.

If Phally is not chained, he will likely attack family or neighbours, but the family cannot afford mental health treatment. “Help is difficult to come by, because most homes for the mentally ill do not accept people of his age,” Nai said.

Adhoc coordinator Prak Saran agreed. “No authority will accept him; he is not a young child,” Saran said yesterday. “He looks like an old man, and is mentally ill, so we cannot blame his family [for chaining him].”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the