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Thailand to ‘hand over maker of film soon’

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Rath Rott Mony has been arrested in Thailand. Photo supplied

Thailand to ‘hand over maker of film soon’

Senior Cambodian police officials on Wednesday said Thai police would soon hand over the alleged producer of a documentary on sex trafficking judged to have “seriously damaged the Kingdom’s honour”.

Rath Rott Mony, a Cambodian national accused of being the producer of My Mother Sold Me, a film on sex trafficking, was arrested in Thailand on Friday at the request of Cambodia.

A Cambodian technical team concluded that the film was factually inaccurate and seriously affected the honour of Cambodian women. The criticism relates to the film’s depiction of a Cambodian mother who allegedly sold her daughter’s virginity.

Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post that Thailand would soon hand over Rott Mony to Cambodian authorities for questioning.

“Thai authorities have cooperated with us and arrested the individual. They have detained [the suspect] for several days, and they will send him to us soon,” he said.

He added that the film was an attack on Cambodian tradition and honour, and suggested it criticised the Cambodian government’s anti-trafficking policies.

Kim Khoeun said the mother and daughter, upon seeing the video, went to authorities in order to seek the arrest of the alleged filmmaker.

They alleged Rott Mony lured them into participating by telling them he was making a film on life after the Khmer Rouge regime.

Rott Mony’s wife, Long Kimheang, told The Post that her husband left Cambodia in late October. She then left Cambodia herself early last month.

She claimed that her husband was not a producer, but simply a coordinator who helped prepare documents and interpret interviews with the women in the documentary.

“I heard they were hunting for my husband in Thailand. When arresting him, the Thai authorities told me that they received a letter from the Cambodian government saying my husband was guilty of producing a false documentary on sex trafficking. This is not true,” she said.

Kimheang insisted that the Cambodian government are wrong in their accusations, and urged it to tackle human trafficking rather than arrest those who probed the issue.

“The Thai government arrested my husband and this is wrong because he is someone who fights human trafficking. They should be using their energy trying to prevent this from happening and helping the victims,” she said.

HRW issued a statement on Tuesday requesting that Thai authorities release Rott Mony immediately and allow him to pursue political asylum through the UN.

HRW expressed concerns that Rott Mony would face “politically motivated prosecution, wrongful detention and ill-treatment” in Cambodia upon his repatriation.

“Thailand should not do Cambodia’s bidding by forcibly returning an outspoken activist who exposed police failures to stop abuses and child sex trafficking,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for HRW.

“Thai authorities should immediately release Rath Rott Mony and allow him to seek protection from the UN refugee agency.”


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