News/Cambodia: Cambodia outraged by pornographic Internet page

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Subject: News/Cambodia: Cambodia outraged by pornographic Internet page
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 17:53:53 EDT


                Cambodia outraged by pornographic Internet page

APws 10-14-99 8:20 AM

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this news report may not be published,
broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of
the Associated Press.

   PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) -- The launch of Cambodia's first pornographic
Internet venture provoked outrage Thursday and government officials said
the graphic web site may soon be shut down.
   Titled "Welcome to the Rape Camp," the web site features nude Asian
women in sexual bondage and encourages users to "humiliate these Asian sex
slaves to your hearts content."
   Oum Daravuth, a secretary of state at the Information Ministry, said the
government stands "adamantly against it. We are not banning freedom of
expression, but there should be a limit to such things when it affects our
culture and traditions."
   Officials are debating how to shut down the web site. Minister of
Women's Affairs Mu Sochua said Thursday that a human trafficking law or the
Cambodian constitution could be used as a basis for legal action.
   Impoverished Cambodia is already known for prostitution, pedophilia and
sex tourism. Social activists fear the new Internet site marks a step
backwards in efforts to rein in sexual abuse, domestic violence and human
trafficking.
   "This is heavy-duty bondage, humiliation and torture. It provokes
violence against women," said Bill Herod, a coordinator at NGO Forum, an
umbrella organization of Cambodia-based development agencies. "We're not
talking about pretty pictures of naked women."
   The site's expatriate American creator, Dan Sandler, has defended his
work as legitimate business that will help the economy.
   "There is a big market in the U.S. for Asian women," he was quoted as
saying in Thursday's Cambodia Daily. "And when I start making money, I'll
pay 10 percent in taxes. If I'm successful, I could get a lot of other guys
doing it and get a lot of tax revenue."
   Sandler dismissed concerns that it will promote domestic violence in
Cambodia, saying his target audience is the United States and that few
people in technology-poor Cambodia will ever see the site.
   "It might promote violence against women in the United States. But I say
good," Sandler was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "I'm going through a
divorce right now. I hate American women."
   The three women appearing in the site -- said to be ethnic Vietnamese --
were paid dlrs 20 each, according to Sandler.


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