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Cambodian backwater in euthanasia website rumpus

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The governor of the Cambodian province of Kampot has initiated legal action against an American internet cafe owner who promoted the area as the ideal place to commit suicide, Reuters reports.

Roger Graham's www.euthanasiaincambodia.com and www.asian-hearts.com (both currently offline) both carried the banner: "You're going to die anyway, so why not in Cambodia?" which provoked around 50 complaints from foreigners, including the relatives of a 47-year-old British woman who recently took her own life in Kampot - something they believe was partly provoked by the websites.

Governor Puth Chandarith said: "A lot of foreigners were scared to stay here when they learnt about the Web Site saying Kampot was a good place to commit suicide with no pain." Accordingly, he has filed suit against Graham for "disseminating false information" and "defaming the province".

Graham, owner of Kampot's Blue Mountain Coffee and Internet Cafe, expressed surprise at the kerfuffle. "It was a nice quiet little website," he told Cambodia Daily. "Now it's blown into this circus and it's a bit much for me."

Cambodia has no legislation regarding euthanasia and, according to Reuters, "diplomats say it does not rank as a high priority in one of Asia's poorest nations". ®

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