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Talking to men about rape

'Even if she didn't want to have sex, she couldn't have gone anywhere'
When we meet on a quiet street away from Phnom Penh’s daytime bustle, Samnang is showing little sign of the aftereffects of an evening spent carousing at a local bar. Bright-eyed and lively, he chats eagerly about his friends’ weekend plans.

“We go dancing and looking for girls,” he says. “It’s great. I like this kind of life. I don’t ever want to get old.”

At 24, Samnang looks like many Cambodian men his age, dressed in a fitted plaid shirt and skinny jeans. Samnang is not his real name; he’s only agreed to let me record our conversation if I don’t identify him. He’s not shy, though, when asked about the first time he and his friends forced a woman to have sex.

For PRI's The World, a look at Cambodia's alarming problem of gang rape.


'I thought I lost you forever'

TV show brings together long-separated Khmer Rouge survivorsKhoem Sarom had all but given up hope. In the volatile years after the fall of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, he trudged through malaria-infested jungles on his own to search for a little girl: his missing niece.

But he found only dead ends in the tiny villages and teeming refugee camps where he looked. His young niece, his sister’s only daughter, was gone.

“I thought I would never again see my niece in this life,” Sarom said during an interview at his home in a quiet village outside Phnom Penh.

It has been almost 35 years since the Khmer Rouge collapsed, leaving behind a devastated country. Historians believe one-quarter of the population perished during the regime’s four-year rule.

The effects linger to this day. Across a recovering nation, Sarom’s story of loss is not unique. The Khmer Rouge split families apart in a ruthless bid to remake society. Though decades have passed, many families are still searching for missing loved ones, unsure if they are alive or dead.

For Sarom and others like him, a reality television programme offers a last chance to find closure after years of uncertainty.

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To the streets (again)

Security forces withdraw single file after manning a barricade near Phnom Penh's Independence Monument October 23, 2013.

In Cambodia, opposition supporters (or ruling party detractors) take to the streets as part of renewed demonstrations calling for international support for an investigation into the disputed July 28 election results.

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Cambodia protests

Supporters of Cambodia's opposition party protest against the results of the divisive July 28 national elections. The country has been mired in a political deadlock for weeks, with longstanding Prime Minister Hun Sen claiming victory amid allegations of widespread voter fraud.



A modest selection of Instagram photos from the Cambodian opposition's protest of the disputed election results. The unintentional theme for the photos seems to be: "The Sun Was Hot."

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