She was the world’s crusader against the trafficking of girls for sex in Cambodia, and she told an extraordinary personal tale: she was a village girl sold by a grandfatherly man into sex slavery.
Triumphant as well as beautiful, Somaly Mam won attention from Oprah Winfrey, a New York Times columnist, a PBS documentary, Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009, and even CNN, which named her a “Hero” in 2007.
But her personal story wasn’t true, according to a Newsweek exposé this month.
Somaly Mam, a Cambodian anti-sex ‘slavery’ campaigner has been found to be a total liar. As a result of the puritanical campaigning of people like her Cambodia introduced mandatory 10 year minimum prison sentences for ANY kind of sexual activity with anyone under the age of 15. This means that a 15 year old as much as kissing or touching a 14 year old will be subjected to horrific abuse in a Cambodian prison for decades, though in practice they would probably die in prison.
Somaly Mam should be brought to justice for her crimes, yet at present it seems unlikely that she will be. It is curious as to why the truthfulness of her stories were investigated – it seems questions had started to arise but from where and why? Perhaps someone within her own organisation or other groups decided they’d had enough of this feminist puritanism.
On another note, it seems CNN didn’t like my comments on the story and put me under moderation. Now what was that thing called the first amendment or is it more accurately described as toilet paper?