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‘Tortured’ teenager recovers in hospital

‘Tortured’ teenager recovers in hospital

A teenage maid, whose landlady allegedly whipped her with electric wire and forced her to drink water from a toilet, has been taken to hospital to aid her recovery.

Landlady Lor Srey, 32, was charged with torture late last week after the 16-year-old filed a complaint against her, said Banteay Meanchey court judge Theam Chanpiseth yesterday.

According to the article 210 of the criminal code, a person found guilty of torture faces seven to 15 years in prison.

The maid, who was sent to hospital on Saturday, alleged she was tortured in Sisophon town for more than three years.

Prak Sophima, head of women program for Adhoc in Banteay Meanchey province, said yesterday: “The girl’s body is full of injuries – both old and new wounds. We found 14 wounds on her head and other parts on her body, almost all parts of her body were injured.”

The teenager, she said, claimed she had been beaten every day since the second month or her employment.

“The perpetrator [is said to have] used wire, electric lines, brooms and hard things,” said Prak Sophima.

“Seang Da said that sometimes her landlord poured rice soup on the floor and asked the girl to eat it and forced her to drink water in the toilet,” she said.

Chhem Mala, director of center of Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center in Banteay Meanchey province, said yesterday that the girl had been treated at the centre, but was sent to a provincial hospital because she was ill.

“Her wounds are better and her hand and foot have stopped swelling, but we sent her to hospital to give her serum for her to get energy,” she said.

She said that the girl’s mother visited her but had asked her daughter to drop the complaint due to threats made against her, but the girl refused.

“The victim filed the complaint to punish her landlord through the law and demand s the perpetrator pay compensation to her,” said Chhem Mala, adding that the girl said she wanted to learn new skills in order to support herself.

Last week, Cambodia supported an “historic” international convention to provide protection for workers in private homes.

Reasonable working hours, a minimum wage and time off were some of the standards set during an International Labour Organisation meeting in Geneva.

The convention, however, has to be ratified by parliament before it can become legally binding.

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