Rampant injustice can be almost too much to bear

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The unfortunate victim of extortion for a crime that he did not commit has been working at this pool.

The 18-year-old pool attendant at my gym is gawky, gangly and unusually skinny.  No taller than my chin, he has kind of a goofy smile that always accompanies his dependably friendly greeting when we run into each other at the facility.

His was only one of two recent incidents that are symptomatic of rampant injustice in Cambodia.

I got to know the young man — call him Chan — when his job was to clean the equipment on one of the gym’s floors I visit.  I since have seen him frequently when he stands outside the glass doors at the entrance of the pool, where he has been assigned for more than a year.

On March 13, Continue reading

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For assured justice, Cambodia’s streets often render it

Happy holidays to one and all!

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Some of the most popular pieces in local newspapers concern crime.

Two of the local English-language publications have standing columns devoted to briefs about petty and not-so-petty crimes, from muggings to murders.

The dailies that Cambodians readers consume often carry photos so grisly that most Westerners are horrified by what they may glimpse.  No U.S. newspaper would publish them.

What captured my attention in the last few weeks has been the volume of accounts of street justice, which frequently proves to be Continue reading