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[Cambodia] Fixer-translator sentenced to two years for role in documentary on child prostitution

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a local fixer and translator to two years in prison and ordered him to pay about USD 17,500 in damages on 26 June 2019 for his participation in the making of a documentary about the sex trafficking of minors in Cambodia.

Rath Rott Mony worked for the Russian state-owned RT news channel’s documentary, “My Mother Sold Me,” which aired in October 2018. It tackled the stories of three young girls who were sold by their mothers into prostitution.

Kav Malay (Keo Malai) and Tep Salim, who were two of the mothers featured in the viral documentary, will receive around USD 8,750 each in compensation.

After police investigations, Kav Malay and daughter Khieng Sreymich retracted their statements and said that they had been paid to tell false stories in the documentary.

Rath Rott Mony was convicted of “incitement to discriminate” for his role in the documentary, which authorities considered “fake news.” He was accused of “damaging Cambodia’s reputation,” according to news reports.

Rath Rott Mony fled to Bangkok, Thailand to seek asylum after the film was broadcast. He was arrested on 7 December 2018 and deported following requests by the Cambodian government.

Khmer Times reported that Rath Rott Mony maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict.

“I talked with my client already and we will file an appeal to have the verdict overturned. It’s unacceptable that my client was ordered to pay the plaintiffs the amount,” his defense lawyer Sam Titseyha was quoted as saying.

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