Cambodian dad chains son to pole over online gaming

An irate Cambodian father chained his teenage son by the neck to a power pole to punish him for skipping school to play online games, police said Thursday.

The 13-year-old's public ordeal came to an end in under two hours when neighbours alerted the police who brought in a locksmith to free the child.

"The father was so angry that he found his son at an Internet cafe instead of at school that he chained him up in public for people to see, to teach him a lesson," Battambang deputy police chief Cheth Vanny told AFP, adding that the boy said he was also beaten by his father.

The 40-year-old father, Sok Thoeun, who works as a motorbike taxi driver, fled the scene after the incident Tuesday in the northern town of Battambang, and is now wanted on child abuse charges.

"He is still on the run," the official said. "This kind of torture is not acceptable."

Impoverished Cambodia's Internet usage rate is among the lowest in southeast Asia, with less than 1.5 percent of its 14 million people listed as Internet subscribers in 2010, according to government statistics.

But as more Internet cafes have sprung up in urban areas in recent years, the popularity of online gaming has soared among the country's teenagers, most of whom have no Internet access at home.

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