10 tourists (including 1 Kiwi) arrested in Cambodia for ‘pornographic dancing’

By @chelean on
  • The ten tourists are accused of "dancing pornographically" in Siam Reap.
    The ten tourists are accused of "dancing pornographically" in Siam Reap. Cambodia Police
  • The ten tourists are accused of "dancing pornographically" in Siam Reap.
    The ten tourists are accused of "dancing pornographically" in Siam Reap. Cambodia Police
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Ten tourists, including one New Zealander, have been arrested in Cambodia for allegedly “singing and dancing pornographically.” Police raided a pub crawl in Siam Reap on Thursday, arresting over 70 people but releasing everyone but the 10 foreigners.

The foreigners, eight men and two women, were charged with producing pornographic pictures, which were shared on the Cambodian National Police website. The photos show the clothed participants in sexually suggestive positions with one another.

There were about 77 arrested after a party in a rented villa near the sacred Angkor Wat but they were released after being lectured. The 10 left – five British nationals, two Canadians, one Norwegian, on Dutch and one Kiwi – were claimed to be the “organisers.” They were charged with producing pornographic pictures. They apparently also posted the pictures on social media, which is a violation of Cambodia’s laws against producing pornography and human trafficking. If convicted, they could face up to one year in prison and receive fines for 200,000 to 2,000,000 riels (AU$62 to AU$620).

“At 4 p.m., 30 police officers arrived and arrested him and his friends. Ladies that were sunbathing by the pool in bikinis were told not to dress and had photos taken,” a relative of one of the arrested told Phnom Penh Post. The relative added that the police who arrested them demanded bribes.

One member of the group claimed that none of those arrested was actually in the photographs released by the police. “Honestly, it was really confusing. Everyone was confused. They raided, rounded us up, there were about 80 to 100 people at this party, some of them were tourists,” he was quoted by Yahoo News as saying.

The Cambodian authorities are said to be clamping down on visitors posting allegedly indecent pictures of themselves at holy sites. The charges follow a year of “massive political and social repression,” Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow with US-based Council on Foreign Relations told CTV News. “The Cambodian government is trying to be a little bit more particular about people celebrating near their monuments, but at the same time, this is pretty unusual.”

Although the case is unusual, Kurlantzick still advised tourists to be more mindful of customs of the country as the government is increasingly lashing out against all types of foreign influences. “The overall environment in Cambodia has just become much more repressed over the last year,” he said. “The country is potentially something of a tinder box because of that.”

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