Publication Claiming Pop Stars As Prostitutes Draws Complaint

The Khmer Artists Association is drafting a complaint to the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking department over the creation of publications in some of Phnom Penh’s nigh clubs that reportedly infer female pop stars can be purchased as prostitutes.

Ieng Sithul, president of the Khmer Artists Association, said that 20 Cambodian pop stars will sign the complaint.

“It is affecting the value we attach to Cambodia’s musical artists,” she said. “Artists represent and conserve Cambodian culture.”

She declined to the name the nightclubs accused of publishing the pictures.

The decision to file the complaint comes after the popular Karaoke singer and TV presenter Duong Zorida asked for the Artist Association’s assistance when she discovered that photos of her were being used in one of Cam­bodia’s night clubs.

“It is effecting my reputation in the eyes of my fans,” Duong Zorida said. “We should not let these people do it because it is having a negative impact on the size of my audiences.”

According to Duong Zorida, one of her relatives had seen her photo alongside those of other pop stars inside a food menu with a price beside her picture that led patrons to believe she was selling herself.

San Arun, secretary of state of the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs, said that those who make women out to be prostitutes without their permission were breaking the law.

“This is part of the debate around human trafficking,” she said, adding that she welcomed the complaint.

Bith Kimhong, director for the Interior Ministry anti-human trafficking department said he is also behind the decision of the artists to complain.

“If they file the complaint, we will take action,” he said.

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