of injustice in
Press Release by Lynley Hood
Award-winning author Lynley Hood today slammed “shabby” media coverage of the controversial rape convictions of Cambodian-based New Zealander Graham Cleghorn.
“There has never been any suggestion that any of the five complainants in the Cleghorn case were under the age of consent,” Dr Hood said, “Yet many New Zealand media persist in describing him, incorrectly, as a pedophile.”
Hood said that despite acknowledging and correcting the mistake when it was pointed out to them, many print and broadcast media have gone on to make exactly the same mistake a few weeks later.
“Whether repetition of this
falsehood is caused by incompetence, negligence, malice or dirty-minded
sensationalism, it is simply inexcusable,” she said. “Nothing is more damaging
and defamatory than wrongly accusing a man of being a pedophile. To avoid any
recurrence of this egregious error I am calling on all
Cleghorn, a former tour guide, was sentenced to a 20-year jail term in 2004 for raping five women employees. He claims he was the victim of a “sex sting” operated by the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre (CWCC). Many of Cleghorn’s Khmer neighbours have petitioned the King of Cambodia stating that the CWCC has attempted to coerce and bribe them into making false allegations against foreigner men.
Earlier this year, the Cambodian
appeals court heard and dismissed Graham Cleghorn’s appeal without telling Cleghorn,
his Cambodian lawyer or the NZ Embassy that it was on. Following intervention
Graham Cleghorn is represented in
Dr Lynley Hood is the author of the award-winning study of the