Suicide-Tourism Web Sites Shut Down After Complaints by Cambodian OfficialsThe Associated Press
Published: Nov 4, 2005
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - An American expatriate who set up Web sites offering to help people make arrangements to kill themselves in Cambodia has shut the sites down, saying Friday he hoped to avoid problems with the authorities.
Roger Graham said he voluntarily shut down the sites, which promoted Cambodia as a destination for foreigners to come for suicide - but also suggested they might find life more worth living there.
"There is so much noise now that the authorities might cause me more trouble," he said by telephone from Kampot province in southwestern Cambodia.
The Web sites, which had noted that euthanasia was "not illegal in Cambodia," were not available Friday.
"You are going to die anyway, so why not in Cambodia?" said one of the sites, which also offered a rationale for suicide and links to purchase books on the subject.
Meanwhile, the provincial governor, Put Chandarith, said Friday his office filed a defamation lawsuit against Graham with the provincial prosecutor, accusing the American of tarnishing the image of his province.
The governor threatened to revoke Graham's license to run a coffee house [????] in the provincial capital, also called Kampot, about 80 miles southwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.
Graham came to Cambodia in 2003 from Paradise, Calif., where he said he founded the Assisted Euthanasia Society of Paradise.
"I believe in a person's right to choose the time, place and manner of their death," he said Wednesday.
I'm going back to bed now.