T HE repercussions of investigations into suspected pedophiles have turned ugly,
with the kidnapping of a child and harassment of NGO staff.
children - including the one abducted, who later escaped - are in safe
One NGO sent an investigator and his family into hiding, and
arranged for police officers to stand guard at its offices, last
Complaints have been made to the police and government authorities
to help ensure the safety of the NGOs and the children.
A Khmer "pimp",
alleged to have been involved in procuring children for pedophiles, is believed
to be behind the intimidation.
The kidnapped boy, like the other two in
hiding, is a complainant against British doctor Gavin Scott, under investigation
There is no suggestion that Scott, in T3 prison at the time,
had any knowledge of the kidnapping.
The boy, aged 15, was taken from the
offices of the human rights group Licadho where three of five complainants
against Scott were being housed at the time.
On the afternoon of
Saturday, July 1, three Khmer men are said to have arrived at Licadho. Two of
them, who were armed, remained outside and the other, the alleged pimp, entered
He asked for one of the boys by name and was told he was
not there. He pushed his way inside, found the boy, and took him away with the
other two men.
NGO staff alerted senior police and government officials,
who promised to investigate.
Within two days, police officers assured
them they knew who had the boy and would see that he was returned. The boy and
alleged pimp were interviewed together by police and released, apparently
because the boy did not complain about being with the man.
The boy later
told NGO workers he was taken out of Phnom Penh. He later escaped and turned up
at the offices of the NGO on July 5. He was unhurt.
Licadho said the boy
and the other two complainants were to be have been moved from its offices the
day after the kidnapping. They are now being cared for by other NGOs.
days after the boy returned, a man went to Licadho inquiring by name for one of
The man said he had information that the life of the
man, and of the three children, were in danger.
The man left after being
told the investigator was not there. He returned later that morning with two
other men - one of whom was recognized as having been with the alleged pimp when
the boy was kidnapped.
The men inquired after the investigator and spoke
of another child who had been kidnapped. They left angrily when they received no
In the afternoon, a group of four or five street children
approached Licadho staff, asking where the investigator and the three children
Licadho later asked for two policemen to stay at its offices, while
security measures are also being taken by the NGOs caring for the
Meanwhile, the ADHOC human rights group has confirmed that it
will represent the interests of the three children in any court
A total of five children have given testimonies against
Scott, but the whereabouts of the other two are unknown.