Tonight ten travellers will spend their sixth night behind bars in a Cambodian prison, detained after pub crawl activity fell foul of the conservative Southest Asian nation’s indecency laws.
The group, which reportedly includes a New Zealander, five British nationals, two Canadians, a Norwegian and one person from the Netherlands, stand accused of producing pornographic images, allegedly taken during a ‘sex positions’ dance game in Siem Reap.
Officers from Cambodia National Police raided a rented villa in the resort town on Thursday, where a number of foreigners were seen to be “dancing pornographically”.
Images allegedly taken that evening and released by authorities appear to show a group of tourists participating in a Twister-style dance game. The dancers are mostly on the floor, paired into couples, with one person positioned on top of the other. All are fully clothed.
According to Cambodian police, while almost 90 foreigners were detained Thursday evening all but 10 were released.
On Sunday, those 10 – who authorities claim were the organisers of the party – were formally charged with producing pornographic pictures.
The mother of Billy Stevens, one of the arrested British nationals, claims her son is “completely innocent”.
“We are just in pieces, and the frustrating part is that we don’t really know what to do,” Marci Harbour told The Daily Mail.
“He was doing nothing wrong, just having a good time and a drink.”
According to The Sun, a lawyer representing the Brits said they could have to wait six months for a trial and would face a year behind bars if convicted.
The Khmer Times, an English-language newspaper close to the government, said some of the events the group were participating were known as "Let's Get Wet."
A Facebook page for Let's Get Wet parties in Siem Reap advertised what it billed as "Asia's biggest pool crawl." It also said every Thursday it offered "a whole day of partying in a Villa Mansion just out of town with hundreds of other backpackers" and featuring a DJ, barbecue and pool.
Photos on the Facebook page showed young people in bikinis and swimsuits at pool parties.
- With AAP.