Hundreds of Cambodian soldiers attending a training course in Vietnam protested in front of a school director’s office last week over an alleged rape attempt against a female fellow student. Cambodian officials said on Monday that the allegations were false and the issue had been settled.
Three videos of the December 5 protest, at the Army Training School No. 2 in Dong Nai province, just east of Ho Chi Minh City, were first posted to the Facebook page of a CNRP youth group last week and have been circulating online since.
The clips, between one and 20 minutes long, show at least 200 Cambodian soldiers protesting in front of the school director’s office, accusing a trainer, who goes unnamed, of trying to rape a female Cambodian soldier that morning.
“This is an action of the Cambodian soldiers to protest against the Vietnamese military trainer who attempted to rape a Cambodian trainee,” one of the students says in a clip.
“We are all together,” another student says. “If this were to happen in Cambodia, he would be put in handcuffs.”
The videos do not show how the protest ended, and none of the students could be reached for comment.
Contacted on Monday, Chhum Sucheat, spokesman for Cambodia’s Defense Ministry, said the trainer had not tried to rape anyone and that the dispute between the students and school had been resolved.
“There was a protest, but there was no attempted rape like they claimed,” General Sucheat said. “[The trainer] was drunk and he just knocked on the door of the wrong room. The director of the military school spoke with the students and he disciplined him according to the school’s rules.”
“[The trainer] denied touching her body. Now there is no problem,” he said.
Meas Sam Ol, director of the ministry’s personnel department, said the Vietnamese trainer had been transferred to “another place,” but did not elaborate.