Graham Cleghorn….victim of injustice in Cambodia?

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The Dominion Post
June 23 2006

Centre needs more scrutiny
Letter to the Editor
by Dr Lynley Hood, Dunedin

Writing favourable stories about Southeast Asian NGOs is one of Tom Fawthrop's specialties. His article on Graham Cleghorn (Long Weekend, June 3-4), in which he tries to discredit critics of the beleaguered Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC) with innuendo, is one such story.

Other journalists tell different stories. On June 1, the Mainichi Daily News reported that all nine complainants against an Australian teacher had retracted their rape allegations in the Cambodian appeal court. On June 10, the Bangkok Post reported that one of the complainants had been interrogated by police.

"They accused me of taking tens of thousands of dollars to change my story. They demanded I tell them who had paid us. They said they would be back", she said.

"I told them over and over I took no money and I know no names. I told them we changed our stories because the CWCC promised us money if we accused the foreigners and then gave us nothing."

A police spokesperson dismissed the reported presence of CWCC officials at the complainant's arrest as "coincidence".

Clearly, the CWCC needs closer scrutiny than given by Fawthrop.