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In association with OSI Health Media Program and WITNESS Video Advocacy Institute


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Transcript of the video in English:

Bo, Tuk-Tuk Driver, Phnom Penh
May, 2008:

I think that in these few weeks, I saw many…places was closed. And especially along this path also I have seen this girls on the street. I don’t know what before, I saw many girls stand on this path at night.

This is the railway station in Phnom Penh. “Phuong”s story took place at a park near here at around 11pm, just before Khmer New Year in early April 2008

I got arrest in the park in front of the railway station. The first police car of the district came to arrest. I can’t run fast ‘cos I’m on ARV treatment. I have no energy to run…but the other ran away. If have money police took that either watch, that night. I got about 50,000 riels, my watch and money have been taken. Police took me to the station they force me and gang rape. They worked there…there was 6 polices at that time. They didn’t beat me but raped me. They took all my money…and raped me from one after the other at the station. The last one didn’t use condom because I got only 5 condoms. I told him that have HIV but he was not believe me. He said if I had HIV, would have scar on body, not so smooth. I demand the government not implement this new law.

“Mom” was viciously beaten at Wat Phnom and “Rath” endured appalling conditions and torture in Koh Kor Centre after being arrested. Here she talks only days after her escape describing her experience and what she saw in the centre.

Were 7 or 8 people got arrested men and women all sex workers. I asked the police why he arrested me, he said we’re arresting sex workers. I said I didn’t do anything wrong, I’m selling my body not yours. Police said you’re talking back, I’ll slap you to death. They threw (rocks) at me often so I’m afraid to ask question.

I spent Khmer new year in jail. I stayed there for 3 months. It was 3 months and 2 days just no think about 2 days, just say 3 months. I was in Wat Phnom area and I got arrested about 8pm. Most of my friends got sent to Koh Kor (Detention Centre). A lot got arrested from Phsar –Chas and Wat Phnom area, including beggers. A vehicle fully loaded. Some got sent to Koh Kor. I was kept in Cham Chao. Police beat us then forced into the car. I got slapped and kicked. They did not demand for money when they arrested me. They just go in my pockets and took money. They took 30,000 Reils at Wat Phnom. They did not let us do anything, only time they let us out was to bathe. They give little rice with salt and soy bean. It was very hard, they gave small bag of rice, after we ate they let us out to bathe once. The water was filthy. There had been thousands of people bathing there. When you need to use the toilet, you have to do it in plastic bags. After finish eating, we kept the bag they gave us with rice to use for toilet. The guard beat us, men got beat harder than woman. The guard there was not police. They’re just people, no uniform, wore regular clothes. Got hit by bamboo stick, it’s about this big. They told us to lay facing down when they hit us. They brought us there to do nothing, there was not even mat to sleep on, just detained in there. Everybody slept together young, old, even girl who just had a baby. I have been arrested and was there for 3 months. I was beaten on my legs for no reason. Some got beaten to death. During 3 months I was there, 3 guys died. they got hit on their necks. One guy died and then 2 or 3 days later another one dies. They hit me everywhere, my back and legs. People who got arrested, if they are young, they got raped. I saw with my own eyes ‘cause we stayed together. When they took the girl out, they don’t have any condoms. The girl who got raped told me that they didn’t use condoms. I don’t have anything to ask for. Just want them to stop raids us. It’s hard and suffering. Hard to look at…Stop arresting people, sex workers, children even, woman who just had a baby.

This is a park in Banteay Meanchey, North West Cambodia where sex workers work. Here Bory, a team leader with WNU talks about the effects of the new law…

Since before I found that in early January, the women who work in Karaoke and brothel were found to be different because of the new law, which made a big impact on the women. Moreover, the authority such as police took action at these places and arrested sex workers. Many women complain and told me as a team leader that used to educate them and make field visits. They asked “if there is a new law already why don’t you let us know” why we don’t get a warning for first or second times? But we had no information there to tell to them when they have arrived they arrested. One brothel owner, I don’t want to tell the name, she is still stay in jail now. They not yet releasing her. But they know that if have money about 1,000,000 to 100,000 baht (about USD 30,000 to 3,000) then maybe she can get released. There was a woman released because she had excuse and told to the district police of affair that she is a just a chef and not a brothel owner at all. So her negotiation has been successful and police release her back. When she back, she told me that the situation in a prison was very hard because they keep all those women together. There is a lack of hygiene and a few women which have HIV/AIDS they need treatment but when they were there they did not get enough food as same as their medicine they did not get it. Nowadays, they still earn money but hidden and some stopped working in the brothel and went to work in working like this it is like a mobile group so that I am so worry on the point that that they will not use condoms all the time. Other thing I afraid they will have more partners which affect by HIV it will increase spreading. Before the women use condom but now they are so afraid they said that they don’t want to hold condom because they are scared police will arrest them because when they hold condom in hand, the police said they are sex workers.

You can’t stop me from talking.
I am not the only sex worker on Earth. Sex workers are everywhere…
Save me from people who missuse their power