Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shock in Sihanoukville at claims of sex abuse

Shock in Sihanoukville at claims of sex abuse

Shock in Sihanoukville at claims of sex abuse

The arrest of the French director of a Sihanoukville NGO for child abuse has left the city’s small French community dumbfounded, in large part because of the man’s prominent role in setting up the first formal French school in town.

Philippe Broaly, a former judge from Lyon, was arrested last week and accused of sexually abusing seven boys aged between 12 and 19.

Broaly is the president of Enfants du Cambodge, an NGO which partners Cambodian children with donors in France.

But Broaly was also the president of the Ecole Francaise de Sihanoukville, which now has parents reeling over the allegations, even though the allegations stem from his work with the NGO, not the school.

Eric Gaiddon, a diving instructor who has three children at the school, said Broaly was the driving force behind its establishment.

“Just last year I was fetching my children at his house,” said Gaiddon, explaining that classes were held in Broaly’s home before a new building was constructed.

“None of the parents had heard about this,” he said.

Thanks to Broaly’s efforts, the private school was recognised by the French Embassy in 2013, which helped it obtain teachers and equipment.

No one at the school had heard of any lurid activities on Broaly’s part, said Gaiddon.

“If someone had heard about it, in two days everybody would have known because the community [is so small]”.

The French Embassy confirmed to the Post that it sent a representative to Sihanoukville on Monday to speak with parents about the school’s future, and that it visited Broaly under detention as well.

Khoem Vando, deputy director of field operations for child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said his organisation had heard rumours of abuse at Enfants du Cambodge before but had no evidence to carry out an investigation, something which changed when a tip came through in July from a former teacher.

A representative of Enfants du Cambodge who did not identify herself on the phone said donors would not be fazed.

“He would never do such things.”

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth