The family of Rath Rott Mony, a fixer who was jailed for working on an RT documentary about sex trafficking in Cambodia, has gathered at the Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh to call for his release.
The documentary, “My Mother Sold Me”, which aired in October, depicted a young Cambodian woman apparently selling her daughter’s virginity. After the film aired, Cambodian government officials claimed the film was fabricated and damaging to Cambodia’s reputation.
Long Kim Heang, Rott Mony’s wife, said the group had organized the protest to draw attention to her husband’s plight.
“Besides using court proceedings ... we don’t have another choice,” she said. “I will not stop. I will come to the Russian Embassy every week.”
Lawyers for the family have also filed complaints with the courts, requesting bail, which was rejected.
Kim Heang said she was struggling to support her baby and was not able to work to fill the gap left by Rott Mony’s absence.
Russian Embassy officials could not be reached for comment.
Rott Mony fled to Bangkok after the film aired, but was later arrested while awaiting the result of an asylum application to the Netherlands. Thai police deported him in December.
Kim Heang added that her husband’s arrest was a threat to journalists wishing to report on the social reality of contemporary Cambodia.
Rott Mony faces up to three years in prison for “inciting discrimination” if found guilty.
Am Sam Ath, a senior investigator with local rights group Licadho, said Rott Mony was merely a translator for the film crew, he should not have been charged.
International rights groups have called for all charges to be dropped.