Government Deports US Euthanasia Advocate

Euthanasia advocate, US national and former owner of Kampot prov­ince’s Blue Mountain Cafe Ro­ger Graham was deported on Saturday for engaging in activities that damaged Cambodia’s interests, officials said Sunday.

Graham, who had founded two Web sites promoting Cambodia as a euthanasia destination, is now on a government blacklist and will not be welcomed back, said Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu So­pheak.

“He was advertising to people to come to Cambodia to die. That is run­­ning counter to the civilized world,” he said.

“The Ministry of Interior, ac­cording to the law, has a right to deport every foreigner outside of Cam­bodia if they will damage or be a danger to the interests of Cambo­dia.”

Graham did not break Cambo­dian laws, which make no mention of euthanasia, but Khieu Sopheak said he hoped the law would be changed.

“In America he would be jailed. In other countries he would be jailed. But in Cambodia we don’t have the law, so he was only ex­pelled,” Khieu Sopheak said.

Graham wrote by e-mail Sunday from Tokyo airport that Cambo­dian officials had “arrested, jailed and deported me for expressing my views on the Internet.”

Graham was arrested at 4 pm on Thursday on the orders of Deputy National Police Commis­sioner Sok Phal, said Kampot im­migration police Chief Im Chhoun.

Khieu Sopheak said Graham was well looked after by Cambo­dian officials following his apprehension, but declined to elaborate.

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said he could not comment on the case.

Former Kampot provincial gov­ern­or Puth Chandarith, who was a staunch critic of Graham’s activities, said he had tried to negotiate with Graham to prevent him from getting the boot.

“I don’t want to see anybody de­ported back to the States,” Puth Chan­darith said. “But he put ad­vertising on the Web site for euthanasia.”

Long time Kampot resident and US national Linda McKinney said that she was relieved to hear of Graham’s deportation.

“Kampot is better off without him,” she said.

 

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