Three human rights NGOs on Tuesday said they were “temporarily” blocked this month from visiting imprisoned staff members of rights group Adhoc and an election official who have been jailed for nearly a year without trial.
Adhoc and the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) said their requests in the last month to visit four Adhoc staffers and National Election Committee (NEC) official Ny Chakrya were rejected by court officials. They said they were not given a reason or told when the temporary ban would be lifted.
Eight more Cambodians living in the U.S. have been deported to Cambodia under a 2002 repatriation agreement and arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday, with more expected early next month, a U.S. Embassy spokesman and an NGO said.
A further five Cambodian nationals were also expelled from the U.S. last month, despite repeated calls from the Cambodian government for the agreement to be renegotiated and deportations to be made voluntary.
A Dutchman arrested this week in Siem Reap province in possession of nearly 1,300 photographs of naked boys was charged with child pornography on Thursday—and identified as a former member of the Catholic clergy in his country, a court official and sources in the Netherlands said.
Evrard-Nicolas Sarot, 53, is alleged to have paid about 20 boys, all of whom were under the age of 15, a few dollars each to pose for nude photos, police said.
Siem Reap provincial police officers on Wednesday interviewed 12 underage boys who say a Dutchman paid them a few dollars each to pose for nude photographs, after seven other boys claimed the same on Tuesday, a police official said.
Evrard-Nicolas Sarot, 53, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon outside a Siem Reap City hotel for allegedly producing child pornography, including nearly 1,300 images of naked boys found on his camera, said Chhay Haklong, deputy chief of the provincial police’s anti-human trafficking unit.
Dutch pedophile Pieter Ceulen, who fled to Cambodia last year after being sentenced to 19 years in prison by a Belgian court, was denied a new trial in Brussels on Tuesday, a spokesman for a Belgian NGO said on Wednesday.
Mr. Ceulen, a businessman and serial offender, was convicted of making child pornography, including some with his adopted Cambodian children, in absentia by a court in Antwerp in January last year.
U.S. court records detail felony child sex charges and outstanding warrants against a Cambodian-American man who was charged in Takeo province last week for alleged crimes against 11 local boys, putting the spotlight on the challenge authorities face in trying to prevent sex offenders from entering the country.
Cambodia, long known as a destination for child sex tourism, tries to keep foreign sex offenders out, but without other nations sharing information on convicted offenders’ travel plans, there’s not much authorities can do, officials say.
The World Bank approved $100 million in loans to Cambodia to bolster secondary education by improving schools and educators’ qualifications, and to make rural roads more navigable and climate-resilient, according to a statement released on Friday.
The announcement came about a year after the bank lifted a freeze on funding to the country that was imposed since at least 2011 in protest of the forced eviction of 3,000 families from Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak neighborhood. The bank’s plan to resume funding was met with opposition from NGOs at the time.
The World Bank on Thursday forecast a slight dip in the country’s economic growth rate by 2019 amid declining foreign investment, rising inflation and a slowdown in the expansion of garments manufacturing, and advised improvements to infrastructure and training to keep the economy on its current strong course.
The country’s GDP growth rate is projected to remain steady at 6.9 percent this year and next, but drop slightly to 6.7 percent by 2019, according to the bank’s report on East Asian and Pacific economies, released on Thursday.
The chief of a village where 11 boys were allegedly molested by a Cambodian-American man said on Tuesday that many local boys, including his son, had spent time unsupervised with the man, who was charged on Monday with procuring child prostitution.
While the chief’s son said he was not touched inappropriately at the pagoda in Takeo province where the accused, Tan Saravuth, resided in a private dwelling, other children said Mr. Saravuth touched their genitals, village chief Long Sreang said on Tuesday.