Cambodian Court Clears Japanese Photographer of Porn Charge
December 7, 2010 /PN/ Japanese photographer Go Takayama, 28, and two Cambodians have been released from jail following a hearing in Siem Reap Provincial Court, during which charges of producing pornography and taking dozens of images of sex workers at a brothel were withdrawn.
Takayama, a participant in a workshop at the Angkor Photo Festival, was arrested in late November and charged last week.
Local officials have alleged that he photographed women at brothels in Siem Reap, though organizers of the Angkor Photo Festival say the photos in question were inoffensive portraits of a married couple.
Organizers of the festival have strongly denied the 78 images of the couple hugging and touching were pornographic, and several international journalism and photography groups have spoken out in support of Takayama in recent days.
"There is absolutely no nudity in any of the photographs, no genitals or anything like that", said Jessica Lim, one of the organizers of the Angkor Photo Festival. "His camera and the confiscated pictures will be returned to him."
Takayama's release comes after a high-ranking Cambodian government minister spoke out on the photographer’s behalf.