Wendi, was arrested by Cambodian police in his apartment in Siem Reap on Sunday 29th of October 2017. NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) handed him over to police because of its criminal offense suspicion of abuse of 14 years old Khmer girl Bun Thoeuth.
Wendi was peacefully meditating with monks in one of the Thai monasteries in the middle of October. When he returned back home to Siem Reap in Cambodia, where he lives, he was informed by the apartment owner, that police was looking for him, and searched his apartment, while he was away. Police told the owner, that they were notified by NGO APLE that Wendi is suspected from sexual abuse of underaged girl and asked to open the apartment. Police was surprised that Wendi is not present and that he is outside of Cambodia, actually in Thailand.
20 policemen in 7 cars have arrived to search the small, 1 room property. Owner had to open the apartment but insisted on his presence in the room while being searched. Police have searched the apartment carefully, however did not find anything suspicious and also did not confiscated anything from the apparent.
Owner then told the police that he knows the girl and her mother personally, because he knows that Wendi support them both and take care for the girl and also that he gave him his approval that the girl and the mother can sleep in the apartment occasionally. Police have ordered the owner to inform them immediately once Wendi returns back. He arrived back to Siem Reap on Thursday 26th of October and was shocked of course what he learned from the landlord, what has happened while he was away.
Wendi himself has asked the landlord to call the police immediately, because he want to explain everything and that he will be available for police anytime. The landlord acted accordingly and called the police. However, they told him that with regards to current festival they are not able to come and that they will work on it later in the week after 30th of October 2017.
Wendi was informed by his friends on Saturday 28th that NGO APLE took hold of minor Bun Thoeuth and they took her from her house in the village where she lives, all of that without presence or knowledge of her mother.
Wendi was arrested the next day by Khmer police and accused of sexual abuse of an underaged girl.
How is it really with the accusation of Wendi
We spoke to several Khmer friends and they independently confirmed that the girl was interrogated all day by the NGO APLE without presence of police, lawyer or another independent person or a social worker. They have made an enormous psychic pressure on the girl during the interrogation and enforced from her a false testimony to correspond with the whole constructed accusation. Then they have called the police.
Her mother came back to home from hard work on the rise field and was looking for her daughter. She was baldly told that Bun Thoeuth is under care of APLE and that she will not return home. They have refused to bring the girl back to her mother and they still keep her against her will.
One of our Khmer friends talked to the mother, who told him, that she is extremely sorry for what has happened. She also informed him that she got a visit from NGO APLE who have offered her 5.000 USD if she will provide and confirm her statement leading to harsh sentence for Wendi. Mother has refused to do that and APLE employees has left without success.
Police investigator then told Wendi that the whole case was initiated by mother of a girl to whom girl complained, that Wendi is sexually abusing her and that is why the mother contacted police and the NGO APLE.
Only few hours later, Wendi received a call from another of his Khmer friends, who has visited the mother and she told him, that some man unknown to her visited her, did not introduced himself and blackmailed her that if she will not speak as they want against Wendi, she will be also thrown in jail. Mother has broken down from the fear and did exactly as he requested.
About mother of little Bun Thoeuth
Mother of Bun Thoeuth is extremely poor woman, widow (her husband passed away because of AIDS), HIV positive, with highly developed level of AIDS (she looks about 40 years older and is extremely malnourished), she does not have a regular job. She lives with her daughter Bun Thoeuth under the poverty line in flimsy hut in Sanday Village, Siem Reap province.
She lives on the verge of the society, because she is stigmatized by HIV virus and by that expelled from Cambodian society as well as her daughter. However, she looks after her daughter Bun Thoeuth as best as she can. Wendi has brought electricity to her hut at his own costs and work from the closest electric switchboard, which was built just as recent as at the end of last year. (Wendi’s original profession is an electrician.)
About Wendi and his daughter Nicol
Girl was 13 years old when Wendi has learned about her. He found her one morning on the ground in the front of his shop with the drinks and she did not talk. She did not speak English of course, but she even did not answer any questions of Wendi’s Khmer friend, which was renting the shop to Wendi. She was mentally at the level of about 6 years old child.
She was very neglected, dirty and in torn clothing, extremely malnourished and hungry. She had very bad teeth and her overall health state was really bad. People from the village have treated her and her mother as the bottom of society, nobody was helping them.
Girl has put efforts to go to school, where she had to walk several kilometers, while other kids had bikes. Nobody was willing to give her a lift on the bike because of her HIV positivity. She did not have either a school bag or any school supplies. She hardly communicated with anybody around. Wendi gave her a new name Nicol with her consent, because her Khmer name was hard to pronounce. So, I will also use her new name from now on – Nicol.
There were no basic hygiene supplies in the hut where Nicol lived, such as tooth paste, soap or detergents. Wendi bought a new bicycle for Nicol, clothing, shampoo, tooth paste and other supplies as well as school bag, school supplies and school books. He was regularly shopping basic food for her mother to prevent them both from hunger and was continuously bringing anything what they needed for basic housekeeping and personal hygiene.
He was buying most of it personally himself, because he was afraid that mother would spend the money on some unnecessary things, if he would give her cash. Later, he gave her mother some small cash occasionally, when he did not have time for shopping, so mother can provide the basic care for herself and Nicol.
With her mother and Nicol, he regularly visited hospital in Siem Reap where they both were treated and spoke with their doctor, who had provided him with Nicol’s medical records and made him acquainted with her medical condition.
Wendi also arranged a private dentist for Nicol, who has made amazing change to her teeth. He was also involved in Nicol’s education. He was trying to teach her English and also to improve her mental health, motoric etc. in a fun form, because she was very backward.
He bought her different toys and teaching aids, which help to develop children’s psyche. The medical doctors confirm mental backwardness in children affected by HIV and attribute it to chemical treatment of the child patients. However, thanks to the very careful and patient work of Wendi, Nicol has moved a huge way forward.
Nicol has really improved in every aspect, mentally, in communication and behavior but also physically and from the health point of view. You cannot imagine how I was surprised and happy when she said in Czech “Hi, how are you?”, for the first time. She has changed literally to a different person, which can be confirmed by tens of people around her.
Wendi was taking Nicol and her mother for trips around Siem Reap city and he brought them also to the sea, which none of them has ever seen before. All was happening with a full knowledge and agreement of mother, who was honestly happy for Nicol’s transformation and was happy and grateful for Wendi’s help.
Nicol started to call Wendi “papa” and Wendi had a genuine joy because of it. He also talked about her as about his daughter, even in front of the judge at the court, who decided about throwing him into investigative custody.
Mother always knew about every move of Nicol. So, if NGO APLE says now, that they have saved the girl from clutches of a dangerous pedophile, whom they deservedly thrown in jail, it is nothing else then absolutely false and absurd statement.
They have damaged Nicol and her present and future life by this act. Perhaps nobody of us can barely imagine what trauma she is going through now. In this state and without help she has no future and most probably she will end up very sadly, considering current attitude of Cambodian society towards people with HIV or AIDS.
When I have learned, one day before Wendi’s arrest, that they have literally kidnapped Nicol from her house, I have advised him to leave the country immediately. He answered exactly: “I cannot leave. I have to stay here because of her. I did not do anything bad and if I would run, I would have admitted the guilt by that. I want to face that, so the truth can come through.”.
He was arrested the next day. Fortunately, the police left him his smartphone, for a fee of 50 USD per day. So, he could let me know about what has happened to him. Because he did not have enough money on him, the police brought him back to his apartment, from where with use of his laptop he sent the bank certificate and passwords to his friend Pavel Bergman, so Pavel could have an access to his bank accounts.
Afterwards police have confiscated the laptop as well as his old camera and they found some condoms and gel in his drawer. Imagine that! Condoms in apartment of an adult man in a country full of HIV. It cannot be anybody else then a vicious suspect and clear pedophile!
One day before his appearance at the court, which has decided about his custody, NGO APLE has published a cheerful and false article about it, how they successfully thrown in prison a dangerous pedophile from Czech Republic, who was working 1 year to put a miserable Khmer family under his full control while he was rapping the little girl. This article was taken down from NGO’s website right after we have protested against it at the court together with present consul from the Czech Embassy, Mr. Zamazal. Too late, our NGO “friends”, we have a print screen of it!
There was nobody from the NGO APLE at the court. I refuse to believe, that the judge would have any relationships with this “venerable company”. Yes right, my trust was a bit eroded by the fact, that a policeman who has brought Wendi to the court was dressed in a T-shirt with a POLICE sign on the back and on his chest, he had proudly an APLE logo.
I have asked the judge to let Wendi free during the investigation, while I have frankly told her, that I have advised him to run away and also, I told her what was his answer. That even with the knowledge of the risk of an immediate arrest he remained in Cambodia.
However, the judge has decided about the custody, while said that he is not resident of Cambodia and does not have permanent residency, so it would be difficult to find him eventually. So, Wendi will stay in the investigative custody for the next 6 months, if a miracle would not happen, for which we all pray. This is what the law says and nobody can change it.
In conclusion, just an important note
We were interested where the NGO APLE got the information about Wendi from. To our greatest surprise we have found out, that NGO APLE was anonymously noticed by a Czech citizen. We have got plenty of very persuasive indications. Even the master sometimes fails. We know his motivation and also the way how he did it. Only a few fragments remain in the mosaic.
ONCE WE WERE SAVING WILLY. TODAY WE NEED TO FREE NICOL AND WENDI.
We herewith ask everybody, who can help, even with their contacts to the international organizations to join us. Organizations such as Amnesty International, Doctors without borders could make a major contribution to prevent little Nicol to fall down the path where she was taken from by help of Wendi.
Big thank you to Pavel Bergman, who made a very substantial contribution to his article. I also thank to our Khmer friends, who are helping us selflessly.
Wednesday, 1st of November 2017