10 Westerners are facing up to a year in a Cambodian prison after being accused of “singing and dancing pornographically” at a party. Nathan Rousseau Smith (@FantasticMrNate) has the story.
Cambodian authorities arrested 10 foreigners for “singing and dancing pornographically” at a popular temple site. The authoritarian regime has become increasingly intolerant of lewd behavior at sacred tourist spots.
Prosecutors charged the five British nationals, two Canadians, one Norwegian, one New Zealander and one person from the Netherlands Sunday after they were arrested at a party Thursday in Siem Reap, near the country’s famed temple complex known as Angkor Wat.
Authorities said the foreigners were participating in a pub crawl, and when police arrived at a rented villa, they found the foreigners “dancing pornographically.”
Police posted photos on their website showing young adults simulating various sexual positions at a party, but everyone appeared to be clothed.
Ninety foreigners attending the party were detained; all but 10 were released.
Authorities did not give any further details about those charged, and did not say who had taken the photos which had been posted to social media.
‘Activities against our culture’
Those arrested were a mix of expats and tourists who had been in the country for several months, according to Duong Thavry, who heads the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in Siem Reap.
“We cracked down on them because they committed activities that are against our culture,” she said.
Local prosecutor Samrith Sokhon said the suspects face up to a year in prison if convicted.
Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed they were in contact with the affected British nationals in the Asian country.
“We are assisting five British men arrested in Cambodia and are providing support to their families,” the office confirmed.
Crackdown on revealing images
Authorities have begun cracking down on visitors who post revealing images of themselves at Cambodia’s temple sites, and in 2016 management said they would prohibit entry to tourists wearing clothing they deemed inappropriate.
The Angkor Archeological Park is a world heritage site. It showcases the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries.
It is Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction with millions of foreigners visiting the site each year.
This article originally appeared on DW.com. Its content was created separately to USA TODAY.
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